Google Chrome had a Supervised User web monitoring feature built into its program. This allowed a master parental account to create local sub accounts on the device for underage Chrome browsing and usage. The master account could impose restrictions on the sub accounts regarding the kinds of sites that can be accessed amongst other things, but since early this year, users of this feature have reported the inability to add new subaccounts or edit existing settings. Google has responded to this by saying that the feature is slowly being dismantled and removed from Google Chrome, now officially announcing that it will no longer be a part of the application in its version 70 update scheduled to release this October.
The Chrome version 70 update has been known and anticipated to move away from Symantec certificates entirely as efforts to do so have been in place since Chrome v66. The removal of the supervised account feature, however, rather comes as a surprise. Just as with the allowance of a policy that lets users slowly wean away from Symantec certificates until the release of Chrome version 73, Google has been working the first half of this year to allow users to move away from the supervised user feature in its Google Chrome application, suggesting that families start using Google’s Family Link application. Family Link offers many of the same features that attracted parents to the supervised user control in Chrome. It allows parents to set restrictions upon their children’s activity, monitor the duration of online browsing, be reported of the content accessed, and set bedtimes or browsing duration caps for children as well.
Google Family Link was first released in early 2017 to allow parents to monitor and control their children’s digital experience, preventing them from accessing harmful content and commands. This application extends to Google PlayStore restrictions as well as other application monitoring which includes Google Chrome. As XDA developers recently discovered information on the supervised user feature on Chromium Gerrit, we can be sure that its fading out is imminent and a greater adoption of Google Family Link is on the onset. Unfortunately, however, Google Family Link is not available in every country and for users in most unsupported countries, other third party alternatives will be required to achieve the same effect, even though Google has shown to be increasing its country support area consistently.