Google’s parental control software Family Link expands to teens

Google's parental control software for mobile devices, Family Link, will now also help parents of teenagers. The company announced this morning the incorporation of new functions aimed at parents of children over 13 years. Perhaps the most controversial choice that Google has made with this expansion is that teens can choose to turn off supervision through software. While sending an alert to parents, it is a decidedly strange choice.

After all, if parents plan to control the use of smartphones through Family Link, which allows them to do things like manage and track screen time, see the location of the device, or control which applications can be install, for example, it seems that the father and the child would already have had a conversation on the subject.

And although it's a nice gesture to ask the teenagers to give their consent to monitor, it's an empty one – the teenagers, after all, are still children, and the parents probably bought them their device and are paying the phone bill . Parents at this point should have already established that using a telephone is a privilege, not a right, and that there are basic rules, as well as those rules.

Parents should have had the conversation about how it is used and where it is being tracked, and discussed what kind of content should or should not be seen and shared on the teens' phone. Allowing the child to simply "choose not to participate" should not be the way the conversation begins.

In addition, it can not be argued that parents can surreptitiously monitor adolescents, since parents approve their application downloads and configure screen time. limits, among other things, if you're on Family Link. They should be aware that there is a functioning control mechanism.

Teen software support is launched worldwide this week, says Google, as part of the global expansion of Family Link. The applicable age for a teenager varies by country, but in the US. UU It is 13. The application will also be available for Chromebook devices. And soon, parents will be able to manage Family Link devices through voice commands from the Google Assistant as well.