April 12th, 2012
FTC: Apps aimed at kids raise privacy concerns
By Eleanor Yang Su
The number of mobile apps marketed to kids is growing at a rapid pace, yet a recent report by the Federal Trade Commission raises new concerns about child privacy and the lack of disclosure about the personal data being collected.
The FTC reviewed the promotional pages for 400 apps aimed at kids and found that fewer than 2 percent disclosed what personal information is collected or how it is used. The commission noted that smartphone apps can collect personal data from the device automatically, including the user’s location, phone number, list of contacts and call logs, and share that with others.
The review [PDF] did not delve into what information apps actually are collecting from children, but the FTC is looking into that and plans to release its findings within the next four months.