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This article was published on August 19, 2013


Google is developing controls for Chrome to let parents limit their children’s Internet activity

Google is developing controls for Chrome to let parents limit their children’s Internet activity Image by: Getty Images/iStockphoto


Jon Russell
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Jon Russell

Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

Google has plans to introduce ‘supervised accounts’ to its Google Web browser, in a move to help parents and teachers control how children access and use the Internet.

The latest ‘canary’ (or development) version of Chrome includes an experimental version of the feature, which allows regular users to create new accounts with in-built restrictions and less privileges, as spotted by the Browser Fame blog.

Chrome has long supported accounts, which allow multiple users to run the same browser using their own settings for each session, but supervised accounts would be a further step. The feature could give parents a little more peace of mind about their kids’ online activities by limiting what they can do on shared computers and other devices.

Once a supervised account is set up, it appears that the limitations can be configured via a dedicated Web page, allowing parents and controlling accounts to manage the parameters easily.

The feature might also be used for Chromebooks, the Google-powered devices that Google is pushing to the educational industry. Though that’s not for sure at this point, it’s easy to see how a setting to limit exactly what students can do would appeal to schools and teachers.

The full scope of supervised accounts is not yet clear, since the Chrome team is still developing the user interface, backend and process flow, but it certainly appears that the feature will arrive for all Chrome users in the not too distant future.

Browser fame has screenshots of the process as it is right now, though it remains in development:

Headline image via Thinkstock, screenshots via Browser Fame