Amazon gives teens their own login, but parents retain power

The company announced today that kids ages 13-17 will be able to use an Amazon Household account to shop Amazon's online marketplace - with limited independence, of course.

For the first time, teens can independently use the Amazon app, allowing them to shop or stream content while still keeping their parents informed. "We've listened to families and have built a great experience for both teens and parents", Michael Carr, vice president of Amazon Households, said in a statement. Upon receiving such a message (via email and/or text messaging), parents can reply with "Y" or "N" to approve or deny the purchase. The parent will need to setup the shipping address and payment method, after which point an invitation is sent back to the teen.

There are multiple ways parents can set limits on how their teens shop on Amazon.

The system works by giving teens their own login and password to use with Amazon.

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The new teen accounts are a part of Amazon Households, the Amazon feature that allows customers to share their Prime accounts with other family members, create shared digital libraries for the family, and share credit and debit cards.

"The teen can also include a personalized note like, 'This is the book I need for class, '" the company said.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is now allowing teens to make their own accounts on its website. Amazon's default setting with this service is autoapproval of orders, but parents can individually approve them via text if they so prefer. In this case, the parent will receive a notification with an itemized list of the order, and the option remains to cancel it or initiate a refund if it is too late to cancel.

This codifies a process that was already taking place unofficially: For as long as it's been possible to buy things online, kids have logged into their parents' accounts to do so.


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