If Google or YouTube has asked you for your birthday lately, it’s because they’re trying to protect certain age groups.
In 2019, Google broke COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and had to pay a record $170 million in fines.
Part of the agreement required Google to verify the age of the users on their site.
“If you were to go in and for example lie about your birth date, and you could do that you could put in whatever date you wanted, of course, a lot of people do that. Then if they determine that you are actually underage you will actually lose your Google account or your Gmail account or whatever. And then probably lose those abilities to watch some videos on YouTube and also get served advertising, which is probably what it really boils down to is the kind of advertising that maybe you and I would get compared to what somebody under the age of 18 would get,” said tech expert Marlo Anderson,
Anderson also mentioned being wary of where these age verifications come from.
Whether it’s a pop-up or an email, double-check that it is actually from Google, YouTube or whatever other services you use.