large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

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.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.