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
117 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
117 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
117 months ago
Man, this thread went from zero to stupid faster than usual...
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LagunaSol Avatar
117 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
117 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
117 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

airtag in hand

Apple AirTag Linked to Increasing Number of Car Thefts, Canadian Police Report

Friday December 3, 2021 7:10 am PST by
Apple's AirTags are being used in an increasing number of targeted car thefts in Canada, according to local police. Outlined in a news release from York Regional Police, investigators have identified a new method being used by thieves to track down and steal high-end vehicles that takes advantage of the AirTag's location tracking capabilities. While the method of stealing the cars is largely ...
telsa cyberwhistle

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth

Wednesday December 1, 2021 4:01 am PST by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from ...
maxresdefault

Five Features to Look Forward to in the 2022 MacBook Air

Tuesday November 30, 2021 1:51 pm PST by
In 2022, Apple is going to release an updated version of the MacBook Air with some of the biggest design changes that we've seen since 2010, when Apple introduced the 11 and 13-inch size options. In the video below, we highlight five features that you need to know about the new machine. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. No More Wedge Design - Current MacBook...
apple top apps games 2020

Apple Reveals the Most Downloaded iOS Apps and Games of 2021

Thursday December 2, 2021 12:05 am PST by
Along with naming its editorial picks for the top apps and games of 2021, Apple today shared charts for the most downloaded free and paid apps and games in the United States across 2021. The number one most downloaded free iPhone app was TikTok, followed by YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. The top paid iPhone apps included Procreate Pocket, HotSchedules, The Wonder Weeks, and Touch...
iPhone SE Cosmopolitan Clean

New iPhone SE Reportedly on Track for Release in First Quarter of 2022

Tuesday November 30, 2021 8:08 am PST by
Apple plans to release a third-generation iPhone SE in the first quarter of 2022, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. If this timeframe proves to be accurate, we can expect the device to be released by the end of March. As previously rumored, TrendForce said the new iPhone SE will remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G:In terms of product development, Apple is...
m3 feature black

Macs With 'M3' Chips Expected to Use TSMC's 3nm Chip Technology With Test Production Reportedly Underway

Thursday December 2, 2021 7:36 am PST by
Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC has kicked off pilot production of chips built on its 3nm process, known as N3, according to Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report, citing unnamed industry sources, claims that TSMC will move the process to volume production by the fourth quarter of 2022 and start shipping 3nm chips to customers like Apple and Intel in the first quarter of...
apple view concept right corner

Apple Planning to Replace the iPhone With AR Headset in 10 Years

Wednesday December 1, 2021 2:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to replace the iPhone with an augmented reality (AR) headset in 10 years, a process that is apparently due to start as soon as next year with the launch of a head-mounted device, according to a recent report. Concept render of Apple's rumored AR headset by Antonio De Rosa In a note to investors seen by MacRumors, eminent analyst Ming-Chi Kuo explained that "Apple's goal is...