Most Kids’ Apps Aren’t Upfront About Privacy Policies, Study Says

Apple’s App Store boasts a variety of games and educational apps aimed at kids, but a new study found that some of these apps don’t explicitly state their privacy policies. The study, conducted by Kids Best iPad Apps, revealed that only 104 out of 440 children’s apps include a link to a privacy policy in its App Store promotion pages. 

“Parents need reassurance that developers are not taking advantage of an app’s access to their children,” Mitchell Cogert, CEO of Kids Best iPad Apps, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Federal Trade Commission recently updated its Children’s Online Privacy Policy (COPPA) to include apps in addition to websites. This policy requires that companies must get parental approval before obtaining information from kids under 13, but won't be implemented until July. 

“A lot of companies are trying to do the right thing and step up to the plate,” Maneesha Mithal, associate director of the Federal Trade Commission, said to Bloomberg when discussing app privacy. “But there’re a lot of practices out there not being disclosed to users.”

Last year the FTC found that only 20 percent of children’s apps in Apple's App Store and Google's Play store disclosed details about privacy policies, largely because these apps share location and contact information with third parties. 

"While we think most companies have the best intentions when it comes to protecting kids’ privacy, we haven’t seen any progress when it comes to making sure parents have the information they need to make informed choices about apps for their kids,” the FTC said in its December report

via the Federal Trade Commission, Bloomberg Businessweek

Lisa Eadicicco
LAPTOP Staff Writer
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.