FTC Report Criticizes Data Collection and Sharing Practices of Kid App Developers

December 11, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission released a report on Monday that came to the conclusion that the majority of mobile apps aimed at children collect and transmit data that they shouldn't such as the device being used - and they do not disclose this fact to the parents. According to the report, around 60 percent of 400 popular kids’ apps made for phones and tablets running Android and iOS transmitted information about the device to the app’s developer or to a third party such as an ad network. Only 20 percent of those apps disclosed any information about their data collection practices to parents.

"We haven’t seen any progress when it comes to making sure parents have the information they need to make informed choices about apps for their kids," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. "All of the companies in the mobile app space, especially the gatekeepers of the app stores, need to do a better job."

The report goes on to criticize app makers for the lack of disclosure related to important in-app functions such as in-app advertising and in-app purchasing.

You can read the full report here. Chances are if app developers don't start policing themselves then Congress will take up the issue and start passing laws.

Source: Wall Street Journal


Comments

Re: FTC Report Criticizes Data Collection and Sharing ...

tbh i'm amazed there isn't more controversy over how so many of them are "free" apps (like the MLP one) that push in app purchases through swift, often unchecked, commands within the app.. sometimes even designed so the game cannot be completed without said purchases....

i've seen more than one where you'd be swiftly prompted to buy (with real money) in game items, and it wouldn't even ask for your password info, it'd just charge it right to the itunes account...

 

 
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