Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Get Recognized.
Let an ISACA® certification
enhance your career.

Register for an Exam Today
Personal Tech
Real-time info services with Neustar
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
FTC: Mobile Apps Secretly Gather Data on Kids
FTC: Mobile Apps Secretly Gather Data on Kids

By Jennifer LeClaire
December 10, 2012 11:38AM

    Bookmark and Share
The FTC said the transmission of children's information to third parties that are invisible and unknown to parents raises concerns about privacy, particularly because the survey results show that a large number of apps are transmitting information to a relatively small number of third parties.
 



You've probably seen the ratings on child-friendly mobile apps assuring they are age-appropriate, but a new report from the Federal Trade Commission suggests those apps may be collecting more information about your children than you would like.

The FTC examined privacy policies of 400 popular children's mobile apps, and only 20 percent of the apps offered disclosures about their data collection procedures. The mobile apps that did outline data collection policies typically linked to technical privacy policies "filled with irrelevant information," the report said. Other apps offered misleading information about their policies.

"Most apps failed to provide basic information about what data would be collected from kids, how it would be used, and with whom it would be shared," the FTC report said. "It is clear that more needs to be done in order to provide parents with greater transparency in the mobile app marketplace."

In-App Ad Concerns

The FTC said the transmission of kids' information to third parties that are invisible and unknown to parents raises concerns about privacy, particularly because the survey results show that a large number of apps are transmitting information to a relatively small number of third parties.

"Indeed, using the device ID and other information obtained from multiple apps, these third parties could potentially develop detailed profiles of the children using the apps, without a parent's knowledge or consent," the FTC report said. "Although it is not clear from the survey results whether the information was, in fact, used for this purpose, the frequent transmission of data, coupled with the apps' poor disclosures overall, raises serious questions."

The FTC also looked at in-app advertising and discovered this practice is on the rise. The FTC said there are a variety of reasons why parents may have concerns about the presence of advertising within an app that their child will use, ranging from objections to the content of the advertisements to complaints about the data collection associated with such advertising. The FTC said parents should be given the opportunity to make this choice for their children prior to downloading the app.

Oversight Impending?

On the social media front, the FTC noted that 22 percent of the apps surveyed actually link to Facebook, Google+, Twitter or some other social network. Parents may be concerned about apps linking to social media for several reasons.

"For example, parents may not want their children to communicate with other users who they have never met or to post information about themselves or their whereabouts," the FTC report said. "Parents may also be worried that their children may post comments, photos, or videos that can damage a reputation or hurt someone's feelings. The presence of social features within an app is therefore highly relevant to parents selecting apps for their children and should be disclosed prior to download."

We talked to Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. He told us we will probably see a formal announcement from the FTC about new oversight for children's apps.

"This report is more evidence and support for the need to update the children's privacy rules, which the FTC has proposed and which is backed by consumer groups and privacy groups and family rights groups," Rotenberg said. "As it becomes increasingly clear that companies are not able to police themselves regarding the use of children's data, the need for action by the FTC grows."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



You have the experience and skills, let an ISACA® certification demonstrate your value. Our certifications announce that you have the expertise and insight to speak with authority. ISACA certification is more than a credential; it's a platform that can elevate your career. Register for an Exam Today.


 Personal Tech
1.   World Cup Online: Streaming Frenzy
2.   Review: Advances in Smartwatches
3.   Apple Expands CarPlay System
4.   Review: Android Wear Simplifies
5.   Google Glass Puts Fans in Action


advertisement
Facebook Social Experiment Irks Us
Secretive test was legal, but ethical?
Average Rating:
Review: Huawei's Mate2 Impressive
Many features for a reasonable price.
Average Rating:
World Cup Online: Streaming Frenzy
Tim Howard's heroics take center stage.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Another Month, Another IE-Focused Patch Tuesday
Microsoft rolled out 59 vulnerabilities for Internet Explorer in June. But the IE-patching party is not over yet. Redmond published six new security bulletins on Tuesday; two, critical; three, important.
 
Russian Arrested in Hacking Case Filed in Seattle
The U.S. Secret Service has arrested a Russian man who is accused of hacking store computers to steal thousands of credit card numbers, charging him with bank fraud, identity theft and more.
 
More Than Half of Networks Not Ready for Internet of Things
Most enterprises are prepared for the IoT and see its business potential. But the reality is that there may not be enough network capacity to handle the increased demand in connected devices.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Another Day, Another Internet of Things Consortium Is Born
In the emerging Internet of Things, zillions of devices will be talking to each other. Samsung, Intel and Dell just formed a consortium to ensure each thing can understand what others are saying.
 
Gartner Sales Study Sees Tablets Up, PCs Down but Recovering
Are PCs on the comeback trail? That depends on how you define "comeback." While tablet sales remain strong, Gartner's latest study found PC shipments aren't dropping as fast as they did last year.
 
Review: Warming Up to Tablets with Keyboard Covers
If you've ever thought tablets with keyboard covers were just a poor excuse for a laptop, think again. Nokia's Lumia 2520 comes with an optional keyboard cover that just may change your mind.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.