Without Warning, Google Shuts Down Account Of Kid Because She Was Younger Than 13

Posted Dec 13, 2011

Rich Warren is a software engineer from Houston, Texas. He wrote a post on Google+ that has received a lot of attention on social media. He wrote “Hey Google, thanks for making my daughter cry.” The reason for his daughter’s tears is because Google deleted her account without any sort of warning. Rich said that he created an account for his daughter so she could stay in touch with her grandparents and friends.

Rich Warren’s daughter also started a Blogger account as part of a class project and lost access to those posts. She also lost access to the homework she had saved on Google Docs.

According to Google’s terms of service, users must be at least 13 years of age when creating an account. Since she was younger than 13 when the account was created, Google decided to disable her account. Google is forced to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) which says that children younger than 13 must have permission of a parent or guardian before personal information is given online. Google doesn’t collect permissions so that they don’t have to deal with COPPA.

Rich was hoping for an apology from Google and wanted to know what his options are for his daughter, Haruko. For example, he would be interested in downloading her contacts and e-mails.