Google’s terms of service, while ignored by the vast majority of users, contain a pretty shocking clause: Under 18’s are not permitted to use any of Google’s Web properties. That’s right, kids–no search, YouTube, Gmail, news, or images.
Under 18s wishing to watch YouTube videos of skateboarding dogs, or perform research for a school project will have to go elsewhere–Ask.com or Microsoft’s Live.com search, perhaps. The message from Mountain View seems clear: We don’t want your (underage) business.
Google’s terms of service, thick with legalese, state that:
“You may not use … Google’s products, software, services and web sites … and may not accept the Terms if … you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google.
The problem with this, of course, is that all 50 states in the United States require that someone be at least 18 years old to form a binding contract. As for what happens when a person under 18 attempts to agree to a click-through contract, the jury is still out on that one.
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