Google+: Break the Rules, Lose All Services

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A 10-year-old boy from the Netherlands who signed up for Google+ was notified by Google that he violated the terms of service and will lose all his Google privileges in 29 days.

In order for Google+ to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, it requires users to be 13 or over to use it. The 10-year-old signed up with his real birthdate, and now must prove he's 13 or over or lose all rights to Google services including Gmail, according to Business Insider.

A man claiming to be the boy's father brought publicity to the boy's plight in a blog post last week:

Today, he tried to use Gmail, but found that his account was locked. A big scary message says that his account has been shut down because Google has discovered a Terms Of Service age violation. Not only is the account inaccessible, they also say that they will delete it in 29 days, unless he provides them with evidence that he is over 13 years old. All because he entered his date of birth when he created his Google Profile.

Alex was in tears. He is enormously upset about this. Google is basically just going to delete his last two years of email messages (they don't offer any way to log in and export his messages), and plans to cut him off from his family until he turns 13.

"While this is perhaps an extreme example - after all, Google is legally obligated to act within the restrictions of COPPA - it is one that could have serious implications for anyone who breaks the rules, intentionally or otherwise," Al Jazeera wrote on its opinion page.

What we don't understand is that thousands of kids under 13 are signing up for Facebook, and likely other social networks, with little trouble. That's because they lie about their age. Grow up, Netherlands.

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