Many Apps For Children Still Raise Privacy Concerns, FTC Says | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Many Apps For Children Still Raise Privacy Concerns, FTC Says

Play associated audio

Developers of smartphone and tablet apps aimed at children have done little in the past year to give parents "the information they need to determine what data is being collected from their children, how it is being shared, or who will have access to it," the Federal Trade Commission reports.

"Our study shows that kids' apps siphon an alarming amount of information from mobile devices without disclosing this fact to parents," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz says in a statement released by the commission. "All of the companies in the mobile app space, especially the gatekeepers of the app stores, need to do a better job. We'll do another survey in the future and we will expect to see improvement."

The FTC's report is posted here. In it, the commission's staff:

"Strongly urges the mobile app industry to develop and implement 'best practices' to protect privacy, including those recommended in the recent FTC Privacy Report: (1) incorporating privacy protections into the design of mobile products and services ('privacy by design'); (2) offering parents easy-to-understand choices about the data collection and sharing through kids' apps; and (3) providing greater transparency about how data is collected, used, and shared through kids' apps. These standards should be developed expeditiously to ensure that consumers have confidence in the growing mobile apps marketplace."

According to the FTC, among its more troubling findings is that many children's apps "shared certain information with third parties — such as device ID, geolocation, or phone number — without disclosing that fact to parents. Further, a number of apps contained interactive features — such as advertising, the ability to make in-app purchases, and links to social media – without disclosing these features to parents prior to download."

NPR's Martin Kaste is due to have more about the report later on All Things Considered. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show. Later, we'll add his report to the top of this post.

(Note: This post was published at 12:26 p.m. ET, not 3 p.m. ET as it says above. We've got a bug in our system that messes up the time stamps on some posts when we attach the audio from shows such as All Things Considered. We're working on a fix.)

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Church Of Scientology Calls New HBO Documentary 'Bigoted'

The filmmaker says Going Clear, harshly critical of the Church of Scientology, is about the dangers of "blind faith." The church has hit back with an aggressive public relations effort of its own.
NPR

Was Your Seafood Caught By Slaves? AP Uncovers Unsavory Trade

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food, may have been caught by Burmese slaves, a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press finds.
NPR

Sen. Harry Reid Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

The Democratic leader in the Senate announced his decision in a video. "My friend Sen. [Mitch] McConnell, don't be too elated," he said. "I'm going to be here for 22 months."
NPR

Police Departments Open Up 'Safe Lots' For Craigslist Transactions

Several crimes around the U.S. have been tied to the website's in-person transactions. So police departments are offering up their parking lots to provide a secure space for buying and selling stuff.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.