FTC report: Mobile apps invade children’s privacy
Hundreds of mobile apps for children fail to provide parents with basic information on the kinds of sensitive information the apps collect and share about their children, said a new federal report Monday.
Only 20 percent of children’s apps provided disclosures about their data collec- tion practices, according to the staffi report released by the Federal Trade Commission.
The apps that did offier disclosures often provided links to long, dense, technical privacy policies “filled with irrelevant information,” the report said, while others gave misleading information about their practices.
The agency’s study examined the privacy policies of 400 popular children’s apps — half available through Apple’s App Store and the other half through Google’s Android Market — and compared the disclosures with actual data collection practices.
“Most apps failed to provide any information about the data collected through the app, let alone the type of data collected, the purpose of the collection, and who would obtain access to the data,” the FTC report said. “Even more troubling, the results showed that many of the apps shared certain information” — such as a device’s phone number, precise location or unique identification code — with third parties, according to the report.
More than half of the apps studied were transmitting