Google and Apple Family Friendly?

Google-For-Kids

Google For Kids? Coming To A Screen Near You (click for article)

The two biggest names in tech want your kids. Well, Apple and Google want them as customers at least.

Why Apple, Inc. and Google Want to Cater to Your Kids

The pursuit of kids as customers appears daunting, and there are concerns when it comes to data collection.  On the other hand, the desire for a family friendly experience on devices runs strong.  This concern over and benefit from technology reflect the ongoing conflict of progress.

What parent wouldn’t want the following 4 features described in the quoted article above?

  1. You Tube – a safer version just for kids
  2. User Age – customizing the experience based on age
  3. Search Engine Friendly – limiting hurdles, while keeping search safe
  4. Parent Friendly – simple controls to keep their kids safe

These changes simplify my life.   A large percentage of my time as a geek parent is spent monitoring devices.  This is not to control my kids, but simply to keep them safe.    Anyone searching on You Tube knows innocent content can become a platform for abuse.   This is one example of why parents are forced to maintain an intense online vigilance.   I applaud Apple and Google for every change they make to help parents protect their children.

Unfortunately, the price of features like Apple’s “family sharing” will be data collection.

iOS 8 Family Sharing

iOS 8 Family Sharing

Companies monetize these new features as an investment in creating new customers.   The data is the customer, which is why companies want to get this information as early as possible.

The future is likely to hold these double-edged choices.   For every feature we gain we give up information and even privacy.   Hopefully the day will come, when we can receive features without sacrificing data, but until then family friendly features might be worth the information trade.

About Russ Ewell

Since 1994 I have been devoted to the research and application of innovative technology solutions to education. My passion for these pursuits has been driven by my experience as a parent of children with special needs. During the economic technological growth explosion of the 1990's I was lived and worked in Silicon Valley, and was fortunate enough to find a group of people with similar interests and passions. As a result I was able to launch a non-profit called Hope Technology Group whose mission became advancing the use of technology in education. We eventually launched Hope Technology School, which has used technology to build a fascinating and effective educational program that practices full inclusion. Around the same time, I was fortunate enough to develop and build an awarding winning program called E-Soccer with the help of great friends and excellent coaches. These endeavors have left me with a continuing hunger to learn more about the possibilites of education, technology, and inclusion.

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