FTC: Apple and Google need to improve privacy protection in kids' apps

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Mat Smith
December 11, 2012 10:53 AM
FTC: Apple and Google need to improve privacy protection in kids' apps

Having investigated 400 randomly chosen apps for kids, the FTC has noted that almost 60 percent of them were transmitting sensitive device information to developers, advertisers or analytics firms. The report points the finger at the app makers and the lack of information given on privacy and interactive features of their wares, with the majority not disclosing the information shared in the app description.

Focusing on Apple and Google apps, only 20 percent of those surveyed disclosed any data collection that might occur -- data that often included the location, phone numbers and device IDs of whatever the little tykes were playing on. It's the second such survey from the FTC, which deems the results "disappointing" since hardly any progress has been made since the commission first noted this stealth sharing issue. 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." In short, the FTC wants Apple and Google to get more involved in policing these apps, and it's been pressing that point for quite some time already.

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