FTC Investigating Kids Apps Over Privacy Concerns

NewImageThe U.S. Federal Trade Commission has released a report examining apps aimed at children on the App Store and the Google Play marketplace. The report, entitled Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade, is a followup from a survey of kids' apps performed in 2011 that also looked at privacy policies and other practices for apps aimed at children.

Staff examined hundreds of apps for children and looked at disclosers and links on each app’s promotion page in the app store, on the app developer’s website, and within the app. According to the report, “most apps failed to provide any information about the data collected through the app, let alone the type of data collected, the purpose of the collection, and who would obtain access to the data. Even more troubling, the results showed that many of the apps shared certain information with third parties – such as device ID, geolocation, or phone number – without disclosing that fact to parents. Further, a number of apps contained interactive features – such as advertising, the ability to make in-app purchases, and links to social media – without disclosing these features to parents prior to download.”

It's not just a report that the FTC is issuing -- the Commission is going further, launching "non-public investigations to determine whether certain entities in the mobile app marketplace are violating" Federal law.

appsforkids
It's unclear where the investigations will lead, but it isn't the first governmental look into the privacy policies of apps. The state of California recently sued Delta Air Lines over its iOS app, claiming that Delta hasn't provided a sufficient privacy policy for the app. The company has such a policy for its web site, but not a separate one that addresses the Fly Delta app.

The Federal Trade Commission has been very active in the tech and Apple worlds for years. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) asked the FTC to examine the practices of photo uploads to app developers earlier this year, and the FTC has previously examined the practice of a PR-firm arranging fake app reviews of App Store games.

Top Rated Comments

LagunaSol Avatar
130 months ago
This is not a regulatory issue but a parenting issue...

Parents are supposed to sift through app code to determine whether any data collection is being done? :confused:
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gotluck Avatar
130 months ago
Google data mining children....nothing wrong with that!
Poor google get such a hard time for such a credible organization.
This article is not about Google.
Good reading comprehension!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Renzatic Avatar
130 months ago
Man, this thread went from zero to stupid faster than usual...
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LagunaSol Avatar
130 months ago
The logic behind the dessert analogies for Android versions (Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, etc.) is finally becoming clear.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LagunaSol Avatar
130 months ago
Exactly right. What "apps" (why did we stop calling things computer programs?) does a kid need to download? Computer games? Doro the dumbass? Let-me-blow-your-brains-out-VII? Math-games for lazy parents and teachers? Take your pick.

Your kids must be overjoyed. :eek:
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
130 months ago
This article is not about Google.
Good reading comprehension!
So I guess you just read the first 20 words and decided to take a break?

Man, are you gonna be surprised when you come back with your snack and start back with the 21st word in the article.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.1.2 With Carrier Improvements and Crash Detection Optimizations

Wednesday November 30, 2022 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 16.1.2, another minor bug fix update that comes one week after the release of iOS 16.1.1 and three weeks after the launch of iOS 16.1, an update that added support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities, and more. The iOS 16.1.2 update can be downloaded on eligible iPhones over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According...
Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska

Thursday December 1, 2022 4:37 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple rolled out a Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is designed to allow iPhone 14 owners to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. The feature was put to the test in Alaska today, when a man became stranded in a rural area. In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
applefifthavenue

Man Robbed After Buying 300 iPhones From Apple Fifth Avenue

Tuesday November 29, 2022 11:54 am PST by
An unnamed 27-year-old man who purchased 300 iPhones from Apple Fifth Avenue on Monday morning was robbed shortly after leaving the store, according to 1010Wins Radio in New York. He was carrying 300 iPhone 13s in three bags and walking to his car at 1:45 a.m. when another car pulled up next to him. Two men jumped out and demanded that he hand over the bags. Not wanting to hand over 300...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

'M2 Max' Geekbench Scores Leak Online, Revealing Rumored Specs and Performance

Wednesday November 30, 2022 2:39 am PST by
Geekbench scores allegedly for the upcoming "M2 Max" chip have surfaced online, offering a closer look at the performance levels and specific details of the forthcoming Apple silicon processor. The Geekbench results, first spotted on Twitter, are for a Mac configuration of with the M2 Max chip, a 12-core CPU, and 96GB of memory. The Mac listed has an identifier "Mac14,6," which could be...
iPad 10 Battery Pull Tabs

iPad 10 Teardown Reveals Why Device Isn't Compatible With Apple Pencil 2

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:48 am PST by
Do-it-yourself repair website iFixit today shared a video teardown of Apple's new 10th-generation iPad, providing a closer look inside the tablet and revealing why the device lacks support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. The teardown reveals the internal layout of the iPad, including its two-cell 7,606 mAh battery, logic board with the A14 Bionic chip, and more. As suspected, the...
Apple Park View

Elon Musk Meets With Apple CEO Tim Cook Amid Claims of Twitter App Store Dispute [Updated]

Wednesday November 30, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Twitter CEO Elon Musk today met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, according to a tweet shared by Musk this afternoon. Musk thanked Cook for taking him around Apple's headquarters, with no mention of what the two might have discussed. The meeting comes just after Musk on Monday claimed that Apple has "mostly stopped" offering ads on Twitter, and that...
eufy camera

Anker's Eufy Cameras Caught Uploading Content to the Cloud Without User Consent [Updated]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 1:01 pm PST by
Anker's popular Eufy-branded security cameras appear to be sending some data to the cloud, even when cloud storage is disabled and local only storage settings are turned on. The information comes from security consultant Paul Moore, who last week published a video outlining the issue. According to Moore, he purchased a Eufy Doorbell Dual, which was meant to be a device that stored video...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
iOS 16

Apple Still Has These 5 Things to Release Heading Into 2023

Thursday December 1, 2022 7:12 am PST by
The calendar has turned to December and that means Apple has only one month left to fulfill its promises of releasing an Apple Music Classical app and expanding its self-service repair program to Europe before the end of 2022. Delays are always possible, of course, so the plans could be pushed back to 2023. In any case, we have put together a list of five things that Apple still has to release...