Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gmail Issue

It would seem that Google, which has always restricted its email accounts to US citizens to those over 13 years of age, is now extending that restriction to Canadian users, too. The reason that corporations like Google and Facebook have such restrictions is that they store personal data on their users, and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) forbids corporations to collect data on children under age 13.

Now, there would be two ways of solving this problem. One would be to create an account and enter a fake birthdate. Most people do this when signing up for things online anyway, often due to privacy concerns. The other would be to create an account which you as parent owns, giving your birthdate, and simply permit your child to use this account.

I was going to have Ms. Ramsay set the students up with a gmail account on Wednesday, but given this age restriction, I think it would be better for you as a family to decide how you want to handle this issue. If you could please email me (Nancy_Rupert@sd42.ca) and let me know what you've decided, what your child's email address is, and preferably their password as well so that Ms. Ramsay or I can help them should the need arise, I would appreciate it. I would like to have every child on Gmail by next Wednesday so that we don't lose another week learning how to use Google Docs!

If you don't find either solution appropriate, then your child will just use a word processor when publishing his or her writing. It will make it more challenging to peer edit, but not impossible. However, in order to bring work home your child will need a usb flash drive at school to save documents onto.

As always, email me if you have any questions or concerns.



Post a Comment