Alphabet strikes again.
Google informs children when their parents are monitoring their account activity, the tech giant confirmed this month, with the company claiming that doing so is a way of balancing the interests of both parents and children.
Such “balancing” is not Google’s call. It’s not the decision anyone or any enterprise can make in place of the parents, with the narrowly bounded exception of a child’s endangerment—which in the present context is what parental monitoring is for. More broadly, the degree of privacy a child has—is accorded—while growing up is a parental decision and no one or no thing else’s. Full stop.
Alphabet, in commenting, pointed to both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the recently passed UK Age Appropriate Design Code as examples of child-privacy advocacy to which it adheres. This is cynically disingenuous (my deliberate redundancy): Alphabet is not a UN agency, nor is it an arm of the British government. Nor is Alphabet subject to UN proscriptions anywhere or to British law outside of Great Britain.
It’s time to rein in this company. It’s intruded too far into the lives of ordinary Americans, this time unconscionably presuming to take the role of parents, usurping that from a child’s true parents.