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FTC slams privacy efforts in kids apps
The FTC issued a similar report in 2011 and it seems that little has been done in the last twelve months to improve the information given to parents about what data is being collected , how it is being shared, or who will have access to it.
To compile the report the FTC studied hundreds of apps for children and looked for any disclosure information on the app’s page in the app store or on the app developer’s website. The research concluded that most apps (nearly 60 percent of the apps surveyed) failed completely to warn parents about any data collected. The FTC also highlighted the troubling practice of sharing collected information with third parties. Information such as the device ID, the geolocation, or the phone number are regularly shared with third parties.
There is also concern about apps which contain the ability to make in-app purchases or include links to social media sites. Again these “features” aren’t disclosed to parents prior to download. Just under one fifth of the apps studied allowed children to make purchases with prices ranging from 99 cents to $29.99.
What do you think? Are you worried about how your children are being monitored or manipulated when they use a smartphone or tablet?