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What's the big deal? Google is required by law to do that. Enter a fake birth date.

The fact is, he didn't need to enter a birth date. GMail didn't ask for one. Youtube did. So he only had a GMail account.

He joined Google+ and _could_ optionally add a day of birth, because - well. You want your friends in a social network to post 'All the best' or whatever. So he provided this option freely, to share it with his circles of friends.

Not to link it to his main online identity. I don't think that it is obvious that there's a neat 'Hah! Another one entered his DOB in Google+ and is < 13, let's shut him out' trigger.

And here we have illustration #447 of why people who aren't database administrators neither need nor want universal identity. Gmail did not have to know this kid was a kid. But it spied on his social network and now it knows.

A human exhibiting this same behavior - peeking in his or her customers' windows to see if they're technically violating terms of service in their private lives - would have been called a nosy busybody.

This is a major reason to avoid Google services. They are learning to better simulate a company that cares about privacy, but it's all still Big Brother at the back end.

That's the most cogent point I've seen in this entire debate.

Except it blames Google for being Big Brother instead of blaming Congress for forcing Google to be Big Brother on behalf of the Government.

Well. True. But as I've said elsewhere in the thread, Microsoft seems capable of handling COPPA just fine with minimal bother, and Google really doesn't give a shit if you're left without recourse.

The big deal is that the current account is locked with the data inaccessible. It requires proof of age to unlock.

Actually, Google could follow what the law allows -- which is parents giving consent for a younger child -- but they don't.

Also, they operate with this age requirement even for people who don't live in and have never been to the country where this law exists.

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