FTC Cracking the Whip on Kids Apps, Privacy Violations Galore
In a recent report examing apps aimed at children on the App store and the Google Play store titled ‘Mobile apps for Kids: Disclosures still not making the grade’, the U.S Federal Trade Commision examined privacy policies and other practices for apps aimed at kids. 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’. This sounds ambiguous at best. To add to the woes, apparently many of the apps shared certain information with third parties – such as device ID, geolocation, or phone number – without disclosing that fact to parents.
The FTC isn’t stopping there. It is launching investigations to determine whether certain entities in the mobile app marketplace are violating Federal law.
It is high time the FTC cracked the whip on rogue apps that do not divulge the true purpose of the information collected by them. Privacy concern has been a major thorn in the side of smartphone users for a while now. Privacy policies need to be more stringent in the case of Kids apps, where parental approval must be made mandatory. There is a lot of ground to cover, but it seems the FTC is taking all the right steps, albeit a little late.