Smartphone Apps Secretly Store Data On Children, FTC Says


kids-computers-internetSoftware companies that make cellphone apps are being investigated to determine whether they have violated the privacy rights of children by quietly collecting personal information from phones and sharing it with advertisers and data brokers, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday. Such apps can capture a child’s physical location, phone numbers of their friends and more.

The FTC described the marketplace for mobile applications — dominated by online stores operated by Apple and Google — as a digital danger zone with inadequate oversight. In a report prepared by the FTC’s own experts, it said the industry has grown rapidly but failed to ensure the privacy of young consumers is adequately protected.

Of the 400 apps designed for kids examined by the FTC, most failed to inform parents about the types of data the app could gather and who could access it, the report said. Others apps contained advertising that most parents would find objectionable and included links to Facebook, Twitter and other social media services where kids post information about themselves.

The report said some mobile apps can siphon data to “invisible and unknown” third parties that could be used to develop a detailed profile of a child without a parent’s knowledge or consent.

The FTC also said it was investigating whether any of the software companies that produce apps engaged in unfair or deceptive trade practices, which would be illegal.

Read more: FOX NEWS

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  1. funny fox news should speak. Their controlled firm which produces children-oriented videogames, not only “phones home” a lot and harass with “social networking” (offering prizes, etc, to induce young players) + pushing all sort of ads. Not to mention how they stealthily include into their games “info” on various lifestyles, the same ones they condemn in public. Guess they don’t mind money, pecunia non olet.
    We need to take control all of our devices and filter appropriately.

  2. Oh, no! More government regulation! Why shouldn’t I be free to sell you an app for your child that will lure him/her to join Facebook or Twitter, without you knowing about it? Isn’t that free enterprise? Isn’t “let the buyer beware” one of the pillars of our economy?


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