Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mobile Apps for Kids: Current Privacy Disclosures Are Disappointing

From the report:While staff encountered a diverse pool of apps for kids created by hundreds of different developers, staff found little, if any, information in the app marketplaces about the data collection and sharing practices of these apps. Staff found almost no relevant language regarding app data collection or sharing on the Apple app promotion pages, and minimal information (beyond the general “permission” statements required on the Android operating system ) on just three of the Android promotion pages. In most instances, staff was unable to determine from the promotion pages whether the apps collected any data at all, let alone the type of data collected, the purpose of the collection, and who collected or obtained access to the data. … FTC staff believes that all members of the kids app ecosystem – the app stores, developers, and third parties providing services within the apps – should play an active role in providing key information to parents who download apps…. App developers should provide this information through simple and short disclosures or icons that are easy to find and understand on the small screen of a mobile device.”  Read more