Apple to Limit Third-Party Tracking in Kids Apps

In a report covering apps that are tracking kids and sending data to companies like Facebook and Google, The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern says that Apple is planning to limit third-party tracking in apps that are in the Kids section of the App Store.

The site says that a "person familiar with the matter" shared the info on the upcoming feature, though Apple declined to comment.

kidsapps

In fact, Apple will limit third-party tracking in apps in the Kids category of the ‌App Store‌, according to a person familiar with the matter. Apple declined to comment on this, but a spokeswoman provided a statement:

"For privacy and security reasons, Apple does not see what data users choose to share with developers and we can't see what developers do on their servers."

In the piece, Stern mentions an iOS app for kids called Curious World that she found was tracking her son, collecting data that included age, name, and books he tapped on, with that data then sent to Facebook.

She went on to test over 80 apps, many promoted by Apple, and all of them except for one included third-party trackers for marketing, ads, or analytics purposes.

Apps tested (which weren't kids apps specifically) included an average of four third-party trackers, and some had many more. The app her son was using had a total of seven trackers in it.

There are no controls in iOS for limiting the tracking features that are used by apps for everything from ad targeting to analytics, though users can download VPN apps that block these services. Stern suggests that Apple and Google should cut down on the amount of data that third-party trackers are able to collect and require app developers to provide clearer disclosures.

Top Rated Comments

JessWinter Avatar
22 months ago
Hey Apple, HOW ABOUT EVERYONE, not just kids.

-Sincerely,
Everyone
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiVolt Avatar
22 months ago
Why is 3rd party tracking allowed anyway?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sasparilla Avatar
22 months ago

Why is 3rd party tracking allowed anyway?

Apple should make it so we could say no to 3rd party tracking on any app - starting at install.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rgbrock1 Avatar
22 months ago
LIMIT the tracking of kids' apps? Er, that should be ELIMINATE. No kid's activities should EVER be tracked. And it should be construed as the "stalking of a minor" when it does occur.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hevaKmaI Avatar
22 months ago
Why was this allowed in the first place? Apple's touting the app store as a curated/safe place to get your apps and the reason why it should be the only place to get your apps. It also uses this as the defense for the 30% cut they take.

I think more people think the app store is curated than it really is. I read this and think "Apple already sold me on privacy, why are these apps already in the store and on my kids devices?"
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pbrutto Avatar
22 months ago
This is great news! Tracking kids is just wrong, really really wrong. If app developers have something they need to know, it should be up to their parents if they wish to share it. Kids didn’t sign up for this **** show we have all allowed to happen.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 Rumored to Feature Blood Glucose Monitoring

Monday January 25, 2021 5:05 am PST by
The Apple Watch Series 7 will reportedly feature blood glucose monitoring via an optical sensor, according to ETNews. The report, which mainly focuses on the blood glucose capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, explains that Apple is intending to bring blood glucose monitoring to the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 using a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels,...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
14

Apple Releases iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 With New Camera Warnings and Bug Fixes

Tuesday January 26, 2021 10:04 am PST by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.4, the fourth major updates to the iOS 14 operating system that was initially released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.4 come more than a month after the release of iOS and iPadOS 14.3, updates that brought new emojis, Intercom support, and more. The iOS and iPadOS 14.4 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible...
Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
14

Apple Releasing iOS 14.4 and watchOS 7.3 Later Today

Tuesday January 26, 2021 7:20 am PST by
In its Black History Month announcement this morning, Apple has confirmed that iOS 14.4 and watchOS 7.3 will be released later today. watchOS 7.3 expands the ECG app on the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer to Japan, Mayotte, Thailand, and the Philippines, while iOS 14.4 introduces a notification on iPhone 12 models with non-genuine cameras. Both software updates also add support for a new...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
apple watch black unity

Apple Celebrates Black History Month With Limited-Edition Watch, Featured Apps and Books, and More

Tuesday January 26, 2021 6:14 am PST by
Apple today announced that it will be celebrating Black History Month with curated content that highlights and amplifies Black creators, artists, developers, and businesses across the App Store, Apple Music, the Apple TV app, Apple Books, Apple Podcasts, and more. The content will be featured throughout the month of February. Black Unity Sport Band has "Truth. Power. Solidarity." ...
7

Apple Releases watchOS 7.3 With Unity Watch Face, Expanded ECG Availability and More

Tuesday January 26, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today released watchOS 7.3, the third major update to the watchOS 7 operating system that was released in September. watchOS 7.3 comes more than a month after watchOS 7.2, an update that brought support for Apple Fitness+ ‌‌The watchOS 7.3 update‌‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install...
time to walk apple watch

Apple Fitness+ Feature 'Time to Walk' Launching Soon With Audio Stories From Special Guests

Saturday January 23, 2021 7:13 pm PST by
Earlier this week, Apple seeded the watchOS 7.3 Release Candidate, which is typically the final beta version of a software update. The release notes for the update list a new "Time to Walk" feature for Apple Fitness+ subscribers, described as "an audio experience in the Workout app where guests share inspiring stories as you walk." Apple Fitness+ subscribers will be able to open the Workout...
apple dan riccio

Dan Riccio Transitioning to New Project, John Ternus to Lead Apple's Hardware Engineering Team

Monday January 25, 2021 2:05 pm PST by
Apple today announced that current Apple hardware engineering SVP Dan Riccio is transitioning to a new role where he will focus on an unspecified project, with John Ternus set to take over as Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering. In a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Riccio made Apple a better and more innovative company, and that Ternus will bring a deep expertise...