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Google+ : Must Be 18 To Play In Field Trial

Google has upped the age limit on Google+ from 13 to 18 for the field trial, “until we’re confident that we have the right teen safety features in place.”

Lots of teens have wondered about the age limit and how Google knows their age.

The reason Google asks about ages is the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, which defines “child” as someone younger than 13 years of age. There are restrictions on the kinds of personal information a web site can collect from a child.

When you open your first account with Google services (or any Internet services that collect personal information), you must provide a birthday. It is this birthday that is the basis for Google’s determining who is eligible for the Google+ field trial. Google provides info for confirming your age if you’ve been locked out:

What can I do to re-enable my Google Account?

You can re-enable your account by following our instructions to confirm that you are old enough to have a Google Account. You will see these instructions when you attempt to sign back in to your account. We currently offer two ways to confirm your age:

  • Sending in a signed form via mail or fax with a copy of your current, government-issued ID showing your date of birth, or
  • Performing a small transaction ($0.30 USD) on a valid credit card.

If you are under 18, your parent or guardian will have to supply the confirmation on your behalf.


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Digital media educator; student of digital social media (with special interest in journalism and public policy); write @ WiredPen, TheModerateVoice, Newsvine, PBS MediaShift; transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! Twitter: @kegill is primary account; @kathygill is personal. Google+:

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