Is Google asking you to add your birthday to your Google account – or any of their services, like YouTube or Gmail?
This can seem invasive, especially since your birthday doesn’t really feel like something they need to know.
So, why does Google ask for your birthday, do they actually verify it, and is there any way to avoid giving it to them?
In this article, I’ll answer all of these questions and more!
Why Does Google Want To Know My Birthday?
Ultimately, there are two important reasons that Google wants to know your birthday.
The first is that they need you to provide your birthday to ensure they’re complying with laws and regulations, and the second is that they use your birthday to run more personalized ads.
However, it goes a bit beyond that.
So, let’s look at each reason a bit more detail, so we can better understand why they’re so important to Google.
1. To Comply With Local Laws, And Protect Minors
First things first, Google may be legally required to collect your birthday in order for you to have an account on your service.
In fact, you are actually not allowed to have a Google account if you are below a certain age! For most countries, this is 13 or 14 years old.
Additionally, some Google programs – like Google Adense or Google Ads for example, require you to also be over 18 years old before they can be utilized.
However, knowing your age goes beyond just making you eligible for certain services or not.
Google also wants to make sure that content that is not appropriate for minors is not shown to them.
2. To Collect Data About You, And Run More Targeted Ads
Chances are, even if Google wasn’t legally required to collect your birthday, they would still want to do so anyway.
This is because knowing your age is incredibly valuable to advertisers. And after all, Google makes most of their money from their advertising programs!
Advertisers know that certain age groups will respond to their ad better than others – it doesn’t make much sense for a hearing aid company to advertise to people in their 20’s, for example.
So, they will pay more to target the groups that are most likely to respond to their ad.
Additionally, because the advertisers are getting better results, they are more likely to spend even more on Google Ads in the future, ultimately leading to more money in Google’s pockets.
Therefore, knowing your birthday directly leads to more money for them, since it’s such a useful piece of information for advertisers.
Does Google Verify Your Birthday Is Accurate?
So, after you’ve put your birthday in, does Google actually do anything to verify it? Does it really matter if your birthday is even accurate – what if you lied?
These are excellent questions!
In most cases, Google does not do anything to verify your birthday, or that it’s correct. Inevitably, this means that not everybody has given them accurate information.
The only time Google verifies personal information is correct is when you’re using programs that require them to – for example, if you are going to be issued tax forms. Some programs this applies to are Google Adsense, or publishing on the Google Play store.
That being said, it may still be useful to provide an accurate birthday to Google, even if you don’t intend on using any of the programs that require it.
For one, providing an inaccurate birthday does not prevent you from seeing ads, nor will it result in less ads being shown to you.
Instead, these ads will simply be less relevant and targeted, making them less interesting and even more unappealing.
Secondly, many online services use your birthday to help verify you are the owner of the account in case you lose your password, or are locked out.
If you can’t even provide the birthday you gave them when trying to recover your account, it may be substantially more difficult to regain access to it. After all, everyone knows their birthday!
Since there are no real downsides to giving an accurate birthday, it makes sense to just provide it – especially with how heavy Google is integrated into our lives these days!
Is There Any Way To Avoid Giving Your Birthday To Google?
Digital privacy is more of a concern than ever, and it makes sense why you’d wish to avoid giving out more information than necessary.
That being said, there is unfortunately no way to avoid supplying a birthday to Google if they ask for it.
Again, this comes down to legal requirements. Even if Google didn’t have a vested interest in knowing your birthday, they still need to ensure that you are above the age required to have a Google account.
Of course, this doesn’t stop people from simply lying about their birthday, but you will need to provide Google with something if you want them to stop asking you for it.
Google is required to collect your birthday for legal reasons. That being said, since the bulk of their revenue comes from ads, knowing your birthday is also quite valuable to them.
Although you will need to supply them a birthday, in most cases they do not verify that it’s accurate when you provide it.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and it’s answered all of your questions.
If you have any other questions about creating a Google account, ask them below and I’ll be happy to help.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister