Concerns remain over kids' apps privacy

Dec. 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission says there has been little progress in addressing privacy concerns regarding mobile applications aimed at children.

There is still insufficient movement toward giving parents guidance in determining what data is being collected from their children, how it is being shared or who will have access to it, an FTC release said Monday.

"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," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said.

"All of the companies in the mobile app space, especially the gatekeepers of the app stores, need to do a better job."

Only 20 percent of the apps reviewed by the FTC disclosed any information about the privacy practices of the apps' developers, the FTC said in its report, "Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade."

Even more worrisome, the commission said, was the review's finding that many of the apps shared certain information -- such as device ID, geolocation or phone number -- with third parties without informing parents of the practice.

"We'll do another survey in the future and we will expect to see improvement," Leibowitz said.

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