Washington, DC (August 17, 2021) –The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) welcomed Google’s move to protect children by allowing requests for minors’ pictures to be removed from Google’s Image Search feature, and by blocking targeted advertising to people under age 18. Google will also be turning on certain safety settings as the default for minor’s accounts: Google-owned YouTube will set uploaded videos to “private” and SafeSearch will be turned on for Google Search, thereby limiting access to sexually explicit material.
“Google is making great strides in changing policies to better protect children from exposure to harmful material and from being accessed by predators. We welcome these new improvements, many of which we have been urging Google and other tech companies to implement,” said Lina Nealon, director of corporate and strategic initiatives for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
“Providing products to minors that have all possible safety measures in place as the default is a common-sense solution that we’d like to see all tech companies adopt. In recent weeks, companies like Apple, Instagram, and TikTok made strides in prioritizing child safety and well-being at a time when child sex abuse material is proliferating and online risks to kids are rapidly increasing. While there is still a lot of work to do to make the internet safe for children, we’re glad Google is hearing our concerns,” Nealon said.
Google’s new changes follow on the heels of its decision to implement several changes suggested by NCOSE to Chromebooks and its suite of education products starting on September 1, 2021 to make them safer for millions of K-12 students worldwide.