In 2021, if you’re any kind of digital service used by children, you’re under growing scrutiny over issues from safety and data privacy to marketing.

TikTok, Roblox, Instagram, YouTube and many more companies have been making regular announcements about features that they hope will show their positive intentions – not least to circling regulators.

YouTube is part of the latest announcement from Google, which aims to make some updates that respond to regulatory changes around the world. It includes enabling any under-18 year-old to request the removal of their images from Google Image search results; turning its SafeSearch feature on for everyone registered as under 18 (as it currently does for under-13s); turning off location history for under-18s; and blocking ad targeting “based on the age, gender, or interests of people under 18”.

There will also be ‘take a break and bedtime reminders’ on YouTube. It’s a useful snapshot of the changes being made by tech companies in this area – and thus also to the hot-button issues that regulators have been roasting them for.

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