Friday, March 28, 2008

Must be 19 or older to use Google in Alabama

No, the title isn't a typo. In the state of Alabama, you must be 19 to use Google and all of its accompanying web services. Recently, someone over at c|net found a statement in Google's "Terms of Service" that demanded all users to be old enough to sign a contract. To quote:

"You may not use ... Google's products, software, services and web sites ... and may not accept the Terms if ... you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google."

That means 18 in most states, and 19 in Alabama (which is the only state in which the legal age is 19 instead of 18). If you're 17, say goodbye to Gmail, Google Calendar, You-tube, and anything else that is owned by Google and requires a login. Not only that, but if Google finds out that you are a minor, then your account gets deleted. A Google spokesperson said,

"We're not in a position to verify the age or legal status of any user, given the tremendous number of users accessing Google services. That said, when we become aware of a user who is violating our Terms of Service, including not being of proper age to accept the Terms of Service, we take appropriate action, which could include the termination of the user's Google Account."

Still, maybe its for the best. You can't blame Google for guarding its own butt.