children

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  • Amazon

    Amazon's Fire tablets for kids are back to their lowest-ever pricing

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    02.17.2020

    Now might be a good time to go shopping if you're looking for a tablet to keep your kids entertained and educated. Amazon has dropped the prices on its Kids Edition tablets to Black Friday levels, making them tempting options if you're looking for a basic but child-friendly slate. The entry Fire 7 Kids Edition represents the biggest bargain, dropping from its usual $100 to a more appealing $60. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is still a good deal, though, falling from $130 to $80. And if you want the largest model possible, you can save $50 on the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition and pick one up for $150. Similar deals exist for two-packs if there's more than one tyke in your household.

  • Patrick Foto via Getty Images

    The UK will fine technology companies who fail to protect children

    by 
    Daniel Cooper
    Daniel Cooper
    01.22.2020

    Technology companies that have produced used by children will need to radically redesign their systems after the UK laid down new privacy standards. The Information Commissioner's Office's new code of conduct covers everyone from social media platforms to the makers of internet-connected toys. And failure to comply with the new rules, expected to come into force by 2021, will see hefty fines being meted out.

  • Alistair Berg via Getty Images

    Bipartisan bill would give parents more power to protect their kids online

    by 
    Igor Bonifacic
    Igor Bonifacic
    01.09.2020

    House lawmakers have introduced new legislation that attempts to modernize the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Dubbed the "Preventing Real Online Threats Endangering Children Today," or PROTECT Kids act for short, Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) sponsored the bipartisan bill.

  • AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

    YouTube is asking all creators to identify videos made for kids

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    01.06.2020

    YouTube is widening its child privacy efforts after an initial foray this fall. It's starting a worldwide rollout for creator tools that makes it easier to flag videos as made for kids. When a producer labels a video as child-oriented, it'll disable personalized ads, comments, live chat and other features. The company said it'll use machine learning to help identify videos for kids, but that creators should set the label themselves -- they "know their content best," YouTube added.

  • Apple vows to fix its easily defeated iPhone parental controls

    by 
    Steve Dent
    Steve Dent
    12.13.2019

    iOS 13.3 just arrived recently with new parental controls, particularly a feature called Communication Limits. It's designed to block children from communicating with people not in their contacts unless their parents let them by entering a code. However, the system can be easily defeated by a simple text message, according to a report from CNBC.

  • Robert Alexander/Getty Images

    Instagram now asks new users for their age

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    12.04.2019

    Instagram is getting more serious about curbing underage use. As of December 4th, the social network will start asking for your date of birth when you sign up.

  • Kris Naudus / Engadget

    How to prep tech gifts for kids

    by 
    Kris Naudus
    Kris Naudus
    11.28.2019

    Every parent probably dreams of that Nintendo 64 moment -- you know, that video of the boy opening up a present on Christmas morning and screaming the name of the system while his sister hops around him? Unfortunately these days it's easy for that excitement to come crashing down once they unbox a new system only to discover it needs a ton of updates or you don't have the right cables. So be prepared and make sure you do what needs to be done in advance so your kids can enjoy their gifts while you sit back with a well-deserved hot toddy.

  • Towfiqu Photography via Getty Images

    Law enforcement shuts down largest known child porn site on the dark web

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    10.16.2019

    The US just scored a significant coup against crime on the dark web. Federal agents and international partners have taken down Welcome To Video, believed to be the largest child pornography darknet site to date based on its sheer volume of content. Law enforcement has seized a South Korea server for WTV that held over 8TB of disturbing content, including more than 250,000 videos. It appeared to be a source for exploitative media rather than just a distributor, as 45 percent of the videos studied so far included images that were new to investigators.

  • Bosch

    Bosch's electric stroller tech helps carry your baby uphill

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    09.02.2019

    It's not just grown-ups that might appreciate electrified transport. Bosch has unveiled an "eStroller" system that uses dual electric motors and sensors to not only reduce the effort involved in carting your young one around, but prevent the stroller from going in unexpected directions. It'll automatically study the road surface to help you push uphill, brake on the descent and keep it on track during lateral slopes. The technology will also bring the stroller to a halt if you lose control or battle fierce winds.

  • courtneyk via Getty Images

    YouTube may soon ban targeted ads on kids' content

    by 
    Rachel England
    Rachel England
    08.21.2019

    YouTube is allegedly planning on getting rid of targeted ads on videos aimed at children. It's not clear whether the decision comes as a result of the FTC's recent multimillion dollar fine -- imposed after YouTube was found to be violating federal data privacy laws for kids -- but Bloomberg reports that plans are now apparently in motion.

  • JNemchinova via Getty Images

    Technology alone won't make your kids smarter

    by 
    Alyssa Walker
    Alyssa Walker
    08.20.2019

    Ever plop your kids in front of some purportedly educational screen-based thing because you need 15 minutes of peace? Maybe, like me, you say to yourself, "It's 15 minutes. It's an educational app. It's not so bad. I just need to start dinner." There's nothing wrong with this, in theory. As a parent of two small children, I've learned lots of things. One thing that's helped: Kids love media.

  • roman023 via Getty Images

    WW, formerly Weight Watchers, launches a weight loss app for kids

    by 
    Christine Fisher
    Christine Fisher
    08.14.2019

    Last February, Weight Watchers drew criticism when it announced a free weight-loss program for teens ages 13 to 17. Skeptics feared the program would encourage obsessive eating habits in adolescents, but Weight Watchers -- since rebranded WW -- isn't backing down. Instead, it launched a free weight loss app for adolescents, Kurbo by WW.

  • Hero Images via Getty Images

    Senators question whether Facebook is doing enough to protect kids’ privacy

    by 
    Christine Fisher
    Christine Fisher
    08.06.2019

    Senators are questioning Facebook again. This time their concerns are related to a technical error that let thousands of kids join group chats with unauthorized users, The Verge reports. Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote a letter to Mark Zuckerberg today, asking whether Facebook has done enough to protect children's online safety.

  • Blipblox is a synth made for kids that adults will like too

    by 
    Terrence O'Brien
    Terrence O'Brien
    07.03.2019

    Blipblox is a synthesizer designed for children. The company behind it, Playtime Engineering, even calls it a toy. And it certainly looks like one. It's made out of bright, glossy, primary-colored plastic. The large knobs and buttons are clearly meant for the clumsy hands of a child. Oh, and it's covered in crazy blinking lights that are mostly there for show. But if you start digging a little deeper, you'll find more than just a plaything.

  • Artur Debat via Getty Images

    Senator presses FTC to require stricter child protections from YouTube

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    06.25.2019

    Politicians aren't necessarily waiting for a formal investigation to ask YouTube to improve its policies on kids. Senator Ed Markey has sent a letter to the FTC warning that YouTube might have violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (a law he co-authored) and calling for specific "safeguards" to protect kids if the Commission issues a consent decree. The measures would involve both tighter age controls as well as assurances that its products would be kid-safe.

  • Olly Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Images

    FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children's privacy

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    06.19.2019

    YouTube may have a particularly strong incentive to change how it handles kids' videos -- it appears to be under government scrutiny for its behavior. Sources for both the New York Times and Washington Post assert that the FTC is in the "late stages" of an investigation into possible violations of kids' privacy. Advocacy groups have reportedly maintained that YouTube is violating COPPA by collecting data for children under the age of 13, including through its dedicated Kids app. The complaints are said to reach as far back as 2015.

  • Olly Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Images

    YouTube may restrict kids' videos to its dedicated app

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    06.19.2019

    YouTube's handling of kids videos has been problematic, to put it mildly, and the company is apparently looking into major changes in policy to prevent further incidents. Wall Street Journal sources understand that YouTube is both considering moving all child-oriented videos to its dedicated Kids app and disabling the autoplay feature on that programming. Both moves could hurt ad revenue, but they'd theoretically steer kids clear of "objectionable" clips.

  • Thomas Trutschel via Getty Images

    A Senator wants to stop YouTube from recommending videos featuring minors

    by 
    Nathan Ingraham
    Nathan Ingraham
    06.06.2019

    Earlier this year, YouTube was under fire as reports showed how the site's recommendation algorithms facilitated a "soft-core pedophilia ring" that flourished in the comments section of otherwise innocent videos. Advertisers quickly pulled back spending from YouTube, and the company pulled more than 150,000 videos and disabled comments on millions of videos to help quash the activity. But a New York Times report this week indicated that the site still doesn't have a handle on the issue. In response, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MI) has proposed legislation that that would require YouTube and other video-hosting sites to ban recommending videos that "feature minors," though those videos could still appear in search results. Exceptions to this rule would include videos that "have minors in the background." Furthermore, "professionally produced videos, like prime-time talent-show competitions" would also be exempt from this rule.

  • Google

    Google's experimental Rivet app helps kids learn to read

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    05.15.2019

    Far too many kids struggle to read at an age-appropriate level, but Google is betting that technology could help them get up to speed. The company's experimental Area 120 unit has released Rivet, an app for Android and iOS that aims to make reading practice both accessible and rewarding. It offers more than 2,000 books ranked by difficulty, and uses speech technology to coach kids on their pronunciation. Rivet can read words or whole pages, highlighting words as it goes along, but it can also listen to a child's own reading and offer feedback on the words they didn't get right.

  • FTC complaint alleges Amazon's Echo Dot Kids violates child privacy law

    by 
    Christine Fisher
    Christine Fisher
    05.09.2019

    A month after we found out Amazon employees might listen to your Alexa conversations, Amazon is facing more privacy concerns. This time, they have to do with how the company stores data collected by its Echo Dot Kids. Today, a coalition of privacy and child-advocacy groups plan to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that Amazon stores kids' conversations and data even after parents attempt to delete it. According to the The Wall Street Journal, the group is asking the FTC to investigate.