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
35 months ago
Hey Apple, HOW ABOUT EVERYONE, not just kids.

-Sincerely,
Everyone
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiVolt Avatar
35 months ago
Why is 3rd party tracking allowed anyway?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sasparilla Avatar
35 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
35 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
35 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
35 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)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months

Wednesday January 19, 2022 11:30 am PST by
It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube ...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
iphone se 2020 top

New iPhone SE Likely to Launch in April Based on Production Timeframe

Wednesday January 19, 2022 6:44 am PST by
Apple suppliers will begin producing display panels for the third-generation iPhone SE this month, with final assembly of the device likely to start in March, according to information shared by display industry consultant Ross Young. Based on this production timeframe, Young believes the third-generation iPhone SE is likely to launch in the second half of April, or perhaps in early May at...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
appleeducation

Apple's US Education Store Now Requires Institution Verification to Buy Discounted Products

Wednesday January 19, 2022 2:22 am PST by
Apple is now requiring that customers in the United States verify that they're active students, teachers, or staff members at an educational institution in order to access education discounts on products. Previously, little verification was needed for customers to purchase products through Apple's education store in the United States. Apple's education stores offer models of the iPad and Mac ...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
appleprivacyad cleaned

iOS 15 Patched Security Hole That Potentially Exposed Users' Private Apple ID Information to Third-Party Apps

Thursday January 20, 2022 3:32 am PST by
Apple patched two significant security vulnerabilities when it released iOS 15 that could have potentially exposed users' private Apple ID information and in-app search history to malicious third-party apps and allowed apps to override user Privacy preferences, Apple has revealed in a recent support document update. With most iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS updates, Apple provides a list of...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...