Thousands of popular Android apps are covertly tracking kids, study finds

This study could monitor when data is first accessed and where it is sent, according to the published report.

Last year, Disney was sued for violating COPPA standards, with the lawsuit claiming that more than 40 of its apps were illegally spying on children.

COPPA applies to children under the age of 13 and requires verifiable consent from a parent or guardian before personal information can be collected about a child.

"We explained our concerns to Unlockd, outlined how they could fix the problems or use alternatives, and gave them time to make changes".

Now that we're at least pretending to care about privacy in the wake of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal, a growing number of folks seem to be realizing that such privacy violations are the norm, not the exception.

In other wards, most of these apps track kids in ways explicitly banned by United States law.

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MOBILETRACKING is creepy enough, but a study has found that some 3,300 Android apps have been potentially illegally tracking kids. Unfortunately, they have already been downloaded up to 1,250 times, so there could be users out there carrying some very unsafe apps. Some of the apps named in the report include KidzInMind, TabTale's "Pop Girls-High School Band", and Fun Kid Racing. After developing an automated testing tool, researchers scanned nearly 6,000 family- and child-oriented Android applications in Google Play to identify possible issues in their data privacy policy. But it's easy to forget that Facebook is far from the only company collecting our data, or that any American under 13 is supposed to have strict privacy protections.

The image also displays a back button beside the bar. 9to5Google has shared that they are also still not sure that how it will work, they just said that it vanishes in some situation and one of those situations is your static home screen. But they said "as our results show, there appears to not be any (or only limited) enforcement".

"It is particularly striking that Google's warnings emerged at a time of speculation around an Unlockd IPO in mid-April 2018".

Furthermore, it says Google's efforts to limit tracking by using resettable advertising IDs are largely ineffective. "We also observed that 73% of the tested applications transmitted sensitive data over the internet", the study found.

Privacy experts have analyzed 5,855 child-directed Android apps and have found that more than half -57%- are potentially violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a U.S. law protecting children's private data online.

  • Fernando Stephens