Google Family Link: Giving parents control? Or a grab for younger kids’ data?

Google has announced a new initiative that encourages parents to give their kids a taste of what Android has to offer – albeit with full supervision.

The Family Link app from Google lets parents create a Google Account for their children, while monitoring everything they do with their Android Nougat device.

Parents will approve or block apps from the Play Store, monitor screen time and remotely lock the device when screen time is over – i.e. when it’s time to play, study or sleep.

Related: Google Home review

Interested parents with children under 13 (in the United States) can request an invite today as part of an an early-access program.

While this seems like an initiative that’ll give adults more control over the digital activity of their offspring, the need to create a Google account for the kid is off-putting.

A cynic might suggest that this is just another way for Google to start collating data on younger and younger users.

Android itself and the Google Play store both have parental controls, while there’s a kid-themed YouTube app too. Is signing a primary school-aged kid up for a Google account really necessary?

How do you view Google’s new Family Link app? Would you be comfortable with your pre-teen children having a Google account? Share your thoughts below.