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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:26 PM   #1
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FTC Investigating Kids Apps Over Privacy Concerns




The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has released a report examining apps aimed at children on the App Store and the Google Play marketplace. The report, entitled Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade, is a followup from a survey of kids' apps performed in 2011 that also looked at privacy policies and other practices for apps aimed at children.
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Staff examined hundreds of apps for children and looked at disclosers and links on each app's promotion page in the app store, on the app developer's website, and within the app. According to the report, "most apps failed to provide any information about the data collected through the app, let alone the type of data collected, the purpose of the collection, and who would obtain access to the data. Even more troubling, the results showed that many of the apps shared certain information with third parties - such as device ID, geolocation, or phone number - without disclosing that fact to parents. Further, a number of apps contained interactive features - such as advertising, the ability to make in-app purchases, and links to social media - without disclosing these features to parents prior to download."
It's not just a report that the FTC is issuing -- the Commission is going further, launching "non-public investigations to determine whether certain entities in the mobile app marketplace are violating" Federal law.

It's unclear where the investigations will lead, but it isn't the first governmental look into the privacy policies of apps. The state of California recently sued Delta Air Lines over its iOS app, claiming that Delta hasn't provided a sufficient privacy policy for the app. The company has such a policy for its web site, but not a separate one that addresses the Fly Delta app.

The Federal Trade Commission has been very active in the tech and Apple worlds for years. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) asked the FTC to examine the practices of photo uploads to app developers earlier this year, and the FTC has previously examined the practice of a PR-firm arranging fake app reviews of App Store games.

Article Link: FTC Investigating Kids Apps Over Privacy Concerns
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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Google data mining children....nothing wrong with that!
Poor google get such a hard time for such a credible organization.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dankly View Post
Google data mining children....nothing wrong with that!
Poor google get such a hard time for such a credible organization.
This article is not about Google.
Good reading comprehension!
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:39 PM   #4
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What does Google have to do with this? I didn't see a single mention of them anywhere in the article...

edit:...okay, at the very top.

Last edited by Renzatic; Dec 10, 2012 at 01:46 PM.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotluck View Post
This article is not about Google.
Good reading comprehension!
You must be reading a different article than the rest of us.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:39 PM   #6
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When all these app stores started gaining popularity in 2008 and 2009 they called it a gold rush for developers.

Predictably, the gold rush has led to a sort of wild west where there are very few sheriffs.

Ah well, like all other forms of media, eventually apps will all be consolidated and bought up by Disney and Viacom and that will solve that.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:40 PM   #7
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You must be reading a different article than the rest of us.
Nah that would be you as usual.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gotluck View Post
Nah that would be you as usual.
Try the very first sentence in the very first post of this thread.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:43 PM   #9
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I glanced through the AP link, and the closest anyone comes to mentioning Google is...

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...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.
Unless you think the phrase "privacy concerns" is an automatic bash against Google specifically, the article is more about the apps in general on both platforms.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:43 PM   #10
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Hey kids, get your free ice cream here!

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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotluck View Post
This article is not about Google.
Good reading comprehension!
So I guess you just read the first 20 words and decided to take a break?

Man, are you gonna be surprised when you come back with your snack and start back with the 21st word in the article.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LagunaSol View Post
Try the very first sentence in the very first post of this thread.
Well then this is about Apple just as much...
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:44 PM   #13
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it's as easy as taking candy from a baby.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:45 PM   #14
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I don't see how the apps for kids fall outside of the normal app privacy terms and conditions set in the iTunes store.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
So I guess you just read the first 20 words and decided to take a break?

Man, are you gonna be surprised when you come back with your snack and start back with the 21st word in the article.
This is about apps...
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by gotluck View Post
This is about apps...
In both Apple's store and Google's store.

How can you talk about things in a store and say it has nothing to do with the stores?
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:47 PM   #17
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The logic behind the dessert analogies for Android versions (Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, etc.) is finally becoming clear.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
In both Apple's store and Google's store.

How can you talk about things in a store and say it has nothing to do with the stores?
Because the first comment that I quoted was referring to Google specifically data mining children
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:48 PM   #19
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Man, this thread went from zero to stupid faster than usual...
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:51 PM   #20
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This is not a regulatory issue but a parenting issue...
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotluck View Post
Because the first comment that I quoted was referring to Google specifically data mining children
But you said this article has nothing to do with Google, when in fact, it does.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
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But you said this article has nothing to do with Google, when in fact, it does.
Nah, I said the article wasn't about Google

The article is about apps
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
The Federal Trade Commission issued a new staff report, “Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade,” examining the privacy disclosures and practices of apps offered for children in the Google Play and Apple App stores.
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/12/kidsapp.shtm
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:58 PM   #24
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At least for the United States:

Comic Books have the Comics Code Authority.
Movies have the MPAA.
Video Games have the ESRB.
Apps have ratings, although they're publisher decided.

Comic Books, Movies and Video Games don't generally need privacy ratings, but it turns out that Apps need a privacy rating. I bet this is coming sooner rather than later.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 02:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7enderbender View Post
This is not a regulatory issue but a parenting issue...
Parents are supposed to sift through app code to determine whether any data collection is being done?
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