Google Debuts Parental Controls For Chrome With A “Supervised Users” Feature, Now In Beta
Google is officially beginning to roll out parental controls in its Chrome web browser, in the form of a new “Supervised Users” feature which is live now in the beta channel for early testing ahead of its expected public release. The option allows a user, most likely a parent, to lock down the Chrome browser running on their device in order to allow and block access to certain websites, enable SafeSearch for filtering Google search results, as well as maintain a history of the websites visited, among other things.
The “Supervised Users” option has been in testing for some time. It was first spotted in the wild this past December, when developers found an option called “Managed User Settings” in Chrome’s Canary / Chromium build. Then, this summer, the feature became more broadly accessible to users of the Canary build, as it was able to be switched on and off using a couple of flags.
Google had yet to officially comment on its plans with parental controls, however, until today. In a brief blog post, software engineer Pam Greene introduced the “Supervised Users” option, relating how she liked to sit with her own daughter when browsing the web, but also needed more tools to keep her family safe.
Though the option is offered in the Chrome browser, it’s obviously designed with Chromebook users in mind – like those buying the new HP Chromebook 11 devices which TechCrunch recently got its hands on. On Chromebooks, the browser is the operating system, so locking down how it behaves can change the entire user experience.