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August 26, 2011

Creating a Google Account Requires to Enter Your Birthday

Last year, I reported that creating a Google account requires entering your birthday if you are in the US. It seems that this requirement is no longer limited to the US and changing your location can't be used as a workaround.


If you're younger than 13 years old and you enter your real birthday, you'll see this message: "Google could not create your account. In order to have a Google Account, you must meet certain age requirements. To learn more about online child safety, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website."


Children's Online Privacy Protection Act makes it difficult to collect personal information from children under 13, so that's probably the reason why Google decided to prevent these users to create an account. For example, Google would have to "obtain verifiable parental consent from the child's parent." That's not the case when your school created a Google Apps account for you, since the school has to obtain parental consent.

It's interesting that you can't edit your birthday from your account and that Google deletes the accounts of the children under 13, unless they provide a way to show that the birthday is incorrect. From Google's FAQ:
You can re-enable your account by following our instructions to confirm that you are old enough to have a Google Account. You will see these instructions when you attempt to sign back in to your account. We currently offer two ways to confirm your age:

1. Sending in a signed form via mail or fax with a copy of your current, government-issued ID showing your date of birth, or
2. Performing a small transaction ($0.30 USD) on a valid credit card.

Creating a Google account is more and more complicated. Sometimes Google will ask to enter your phone number in order to confirm that you're actually a human (and not a bot) and now you also need to enter your birthday. Some services require to create a Google Profile and if you want to use Google+, you need to use your real name or "the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you". If something goes wrong, you'll have to prove that it's your name.

{ Thanks, Herin. }

41 comments:

  1. Even worse, if you already have an account (say, through a GMail address that your parents have set up to communicate with teachers, friends, and grandparents) and you then are at any time prompted for your birthday (say, when attempting to sign up for Google+) and you are less than 13 years old, Google will completely suspend your account, permanently. Goodbye to years of email, goodbye to years of Google Docs.

    The only way to recover from that situation is to have your parents lie for you and accept a $.30 transaction on their credit card...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Like the others, I don't like this restriction, but I do understand Google's more general desire to limit fake accounts (e.g. by requiring phone numbers, as mentioned above).

    The number of fake gmail accounts created e.g. for spamming, is enormous and Google needs to clamp down.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Herin,

    I am a big fan of google but I got upset with this.

    I understand the reasons but sometimes I think that I am taking away from a safety internet road to my 11 years son

    I rather prefer ms live family-accounts where I can supervise (or at least to have some kind of control) and able to share family stuff.

    What if I just want to share a picture with my childs.

    Wouldn't be great to have family accounts?

    ReplyDelete
  4. You guys actually provide real information?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can understand Google's adherence to the US law, even when dealing with people outside the US. However, their process, which is designed to support that, does not take into account all situations.

    As an example, I believe I stumbled on a bug in Google's access control administration whereby your birthday can get set to a day that is not correct when editing the access list, even if the birthday was already set correctly. They then have no process, that I can find, to fix that problem.

    http://www.google.com:443/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?fid=5ab00a838e501fd20004a8612a9b7058&hl=en

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just buy an Android handset, sign up for a Google Account with your existing @blabla.com mail address and try to access Android market. Not possible because for Market (even for Google Maps!) a GMAIL account is required. I finally sold my Android. Never again. What happened to the "not evil" thingy? 5 years ago Google did not even care for my name... now it wants my credit card and even postal address .... even Microsoft does not care for that much data!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had a 2nd google account .. and when I tried to link that google account to youtube, it actually required me to fill in mandatory birth date. And so I did but I provided some arbitrary date resulting in my google account completely LOCKED without warning!

    To unlock, I need to submit identity card information by postage or pay ~US30 cents by credit card. First option is troublesome and a lengthy process plus it will require many days for verification. Second option is instantaneous. I took the 2nd option.

    This is very lame!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where do you go to pay the .30? No one has mentioned this
      Thanks
      Meg

      Delete
  8. @Anonymous

    What do you mean Microsoft doesn't care it? Microsoft would LOVE to know all about your personal info, it just is in no position to demand it. Microsoft knows that its prime products, Windows and Microsoft Office, are on a death spiral, and that the web is the future. That's why it is using all of the money it makes from desktop apps and pouring them into web apps, even though they lose BILLIONS in return. Right now they might be acting all nice and friendly, but judging from their previous history, what do you think they'll do once they gain enough users?

    Just be thankful that it is Google that is leading the pack on the web. Some people say Google is evil. But imagine if it were any other company, like Microsoft or Apple. Yeah, that's what I thought.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Agree with Ron Scott. That is my case. I've set email accounts for my girls to communicate with schools. One day, when I was editing some information of the account, or Google asking me the birthday information for that account, I have been blocked out by Google and the accounts being frozen. And it took weeks to have the account being restored after I lie on behalf of my girls with credit card payments.

    ReplyDelete
  10. look like google is more serious than facebok.Haha...

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  11. This is useless since kids will usually give a fake birth date in order to be able to register.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This IS useless, and I am horrified.

    I remember when I first thought of joining Gmail, there was an 18-year restriction, so I didn't.(I tried later, there was no age restriction, so I was successful) I've never had to enter my birthdate for my account so far, and there was no requirement when I signed up.

    I've even had a Google Profile from since it was inroduced, but I anticipate trouble if I join Google+.

    I really hope that all the Google+ and Profile issues won't overlap into other big G services. If Google starts forcing everyone who has a Google account, and/or uses a Google service to be "real people", this will be very bad.

    Google, your are becoming evil!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. i understand that Google need to be very strict with spam or something related to it...but if it happen frequently that will be very stressful.. there is one day i tried to open a google account for my whole family, Google ask for phone verification each time i try to built account for my family members... what the heck was happening...maybe google should loosen up a little bit for gmail..

    ReplyDelete
  14. i guess that will either force kids to lie about their real age, but won't be able to change it later,
    or use yahoo or hotmail
    i mean, the 0.3 $ ? it's not much, but what if neither you or your parents have credit cards? or live outside USA
    btw, creating email accounts was always for free, what went wrong?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Does anyone know how the credit card payment can be done? I did not find any intructions for that and would very much like to do so as my account is now blocked.

    ReplyDelete
  16. i can't create a google account because of age restrictions, yet I am 39 years old!! I don't get it, guess I am too ancient to have a gmail???

    ReplyDelete
  17. Doesn't everyone just lie? They started asking me for my birthday today and, frankly, they have no right to it so they can go jump off a high cliff.

    I have seen something that says it's about US government requirements so what the hell they do think they are doing applying that to UK-based users (the US government thinking they are the World government again, like their use of the .gov top level domain).

    Now that might be wrong because the implication of the statement on the birthday entry page is that it will be used for Google's commercial purposes (though they don't quite phrase it like that, they use some marketeer's weasel words instead).

    ...and using the stupid US formatted date to add insult to injury (ever heard of site localisation Google?).

    At least they didn't ask for a credit card!

    A way round it... possibly... I think a pre-existing IMAP connection continues to work.

    And, Google take note... there are plenty more Cloud mail providers out there who don't invade our privacy.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have today been asked to put my birth date in so that I can access my gmail acccount. Fundamentally I have an issue with this, it is none of googles business, but it insists on the date being in US format. I can still access my email on my blackberry, but I will soon be finding another provider.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Same birthday request today. Am not giving it. Been with Google for years. Am going elsewhere too

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think google plus should be available for all google users. They are required to be 13 to have a google account anyway, so why does the age requirement have to be 18 for google plus? People between the ages of 13 & 18 just turn to facebook for the solution. It is social networking site like google plus but more people are on it and the regulations are more fair & simple. Lots of people used to love google way more more, but now that it's getting all strict and stingy, it's not as easy to use.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Can't create a new Google acount even though I said I was born in 1990. Google is really starting to annoy me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Honestly, G+ should be for all users of Google; I don't see why it had to be 18. Honestly, if 13 yr olds can use Facebook (which is starting to turn into crap ever since they unveiled Timeline) they should be able to use G+.

    ReplyDelete
  23. For my friend and my sister they both locked! Mine didn't lock(even tho I'm under 13) cuz I used my mums age for youtube sometime ago

    ReplyDelete
  24. My sister wants to make a blogger I have one too but she has to gthrough the process she's been trying for three days omg she's pissed

    ReplyDelete
  25. to get a gmail account google wants my real infomation guess what google is going to become extint how many people with a gmail acc will suspend service google was great at 1 time i think why google wants your real infomation so they can sell it to there partners please people dont ever use google checkout

    ReplyDelete
  26. Does anyone know where I can view what birthdate I set? I can't see it and since the ads are supposed to be tailored to me according to my birthdate, I am curious why I get the ads that I do ... I have a feeling something is not right in there, and have heard that modifying security settings has set other people's dates to something that was not even close ... I can't even see where the option to view it is, let alone change it if it needs to be changed ... Google used to be great, but now it is getting worse than FB with hiding settings and not letting you modify some of them ... are they kidding that I have to send them a copy of my Govn't ID AND give them my credit card number if I get locked out? FB wants Gov't ID too, and that is why I am using Google Plus instead... well, maybe not for long if I get locked out. I have used GMail for many years and do not want to be locked out if they have the wrong b-day in there and I am not able to recover.. I also do not want to send my ID to them, and credit card info ... I do not know what they will do with it and do not want my identity stolen.. I prefer to lose my mail. In this day and age of ID theft, why can't we just have a place to connect with friends, send some emails without having to give up privacy utterly and completely?

    Underage people will lie about their age; spammers will keep creating new accounts ... why make the rest of us suffer for something you cannot adequately control?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Tried to create a google account to put our business on google maps. I'm over 13 years old. After entering all info google requests to establish a new account and using my date of birth (1982), google displays the message: "Google could not create your account. In order to have a Google Account, you must meet certain age requirements. To learn more about online child safety, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website."

    No further information is provided. Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  28. OK I am trying to use Google docs with my computer class, I am also teaching ethics, safety and honesty so.......... obviously I can't tell them to lie!
    Does anyone know of a different or similar tool that does not require age restrictions. I am teaching middle school so many of them are over 13 but several are not -

    ReplyDelete
  29. Google is becoming a bitch! i tried to create a account (for myself.) and like it wouldnt let me (im way over 13 im 20 years old!) This is ridicoulous!! like geez i would like to go on youtube or try and sign up without getting this blood message: "Google could not create your account. In order to have a Google Account, you must meet certain age requirements. To learn more about online child safety, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website."
    Jeez that message is so bloody annoying here's something for you google PISS OFF! im NOT giving you my credit card number so go eat some garbage!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. i cant even make a fucking youtube account im 22 i type my birthdate in it says you need to meet certain age blabla WTF

    ReplyDelete
  31. I on the otherhand have a mid-size company account and ran into this situation. Not even the company admins can override this, nor google technical support is simply Bull fucking shit! How the fuck do they expect me to mix my personal credit card and I.Ds with their fucking product or even work!??? Migrating ease and effort from our former Lotus Notes? - There was none. You create another smtp account in lotus and copy your existing emails and folders over. Why the fuck are companies transitioning? Stupid Google cults!

    ReplyDelete
  32. We have just moved to a new school - one of our requirements is for our son to have a gmail account he is currently 12 - so of course I could not create one as it wouldn't let me. It won't even let me go back in and create an account for me so my son can use it - This is stupid. All my children have BT email address' and regularly keep contact with friends and family. I have access to all their accounts and monitor them. Surely Google are clever enough to enable children accounts with a parents validation. Like I have to do on many games that the children are members of.

    Come on google keep up - there are ways of doing things that still keep our children protected OR is it just the fact that you are unable to sell on the information of minors !!!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I said I am 20, and it worked...
    not sure whats going on with all these people saying that it won't work when they say they are 20....also, for all those people that are under 13...
    just lie, not like google is going to come to your house and check if you are actually over 13 or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had my Google account for over 2 years and am now locked out because it say I am under 13 (sorry - but I'm over 50!). To unlock I must either give them my credit card info (yeah - it's only 30¢ but it's the principal of the thing) or wait several days after faxing a copy of my government issued id. As soon as I get my documents back I will avoiding Google!

      Delete
  34. Google is your friend and they don't do evil. They want to make the world a better place and they can't do that without your compliance. So stop resisting them. You should have sent them a photo id when you signed up. You also should have used YOUR REAL INFORMATION AND SUBMITTED IT TO THEM from the beginning like they said. You were dishonest and you used their resources for free and now you want to be upset?

    The sooner you understand that Google will not do evil, the sooner you will stop trying to protect your privacy. Just give them all your information already. They just want to know what you view, who you know, who you ever connected with, what your sleeping habits are, your medical history, your political affiliation, what you look like, your age, your weight, I mean really. Just give it to them already. I mean you may as well, because if you don't, then someone you know or care about will by proxy if they haven't already. Just surrender and give in. It's time to get naked in the eyes of the google and just trust them with "you".

    ReplyDelete
  35. "I did not have ******** relations with that woman"
    "I am not a crook"
    "Weapons of mass destruction"

    "We will not do evil" :-)


    ah, the show goes on.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I tried to make a Google account today and I'm 15. This is my real birthday. BUT GOOGLE SAYS I'M TOO YOUNG! I'M NOT 13! Of course, there are people who get this message and are older than me, but this gets me really fustrated.

    ReplyDelete
  37. With a Microsoft you can be 8 years old and have email

    ReplyDelete