Study Finds Over 3300 Android Apps Have Been Tracking Kids

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However, COPPA only applies to online services either "directly targeted" to children under 13 or have "actual knowledge" of folks who are under 13. The US law protects children under 13 from intrusive data collection. It triggered a chain reaction where lawmakers, as well as the population at large, started scrutinising how tech companies are collecting and using information on them.

Google is expected to give more details on Android P at next month's Google I/O conference, where it's also expected to release a second developer preview of the software.

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

Seven researchers analyzed almost 6,000 apps for children and found that the majority of them may be in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA.

Although the report does not mention an exact number, it talks about at least one gesture - swipe up from the bottom to bring out multitasking/recently opened apps - that's under the works. "We observed that 81 of their 82 apps that we tested shared Global Positioning System coordinates with advertisers", the researchers stated in the report. 1,100 apps shared persistent identifier, which is widely used as a behaviour advertising technique. About 40 percent of apps transmitted info without using "reasonable security measures", and almost all (92 percent) of the 1,280 apps with Facebook tie-ins weren't properly using the social network's code flags to limit under-13 use (though they may not have realized they were using this info for law-breaking purposes).

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To help parents with assessing the apps their kids use on their phones, researchers made the results of their analysis for each of the 5,855 child-directed Android app available on AppCensus, a website that lists privacy assessments for Android applications.

The latest Android P renew the navigation bar and apps menu with a completely new look. Some of the apps named in the report include KidzInMind, TabTale's "Pop Girls-High School Band", and Fun Kid Racing.

An enquiry by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was necessitated to evaluate each app, the researchers said. In 2016, the ad network InMobi was fined United States dollars 1 million for gathering the location of users - including children - without proper consent.

Google claims its concerns are around Unlockd's app interfering with the operation of devices and other apps, as well as what it says is the intrusive overuse of the services's interstitial ads.

Unlockd and its partners seek to reward user's attention by returning a portion of the advertising revenue back to users in the form of mobile data, credit off phone bills, entertainment content, or loyalty points.

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