Over 3300 Android Apps on Google Play Store Are Improperly Tracking Kids

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Only a week after it was alleged that YouTube violated USA laws that protect children's online privacy, a study has claimed a majority of popular free children's apps in the Google Play Store are also in breach of these rules. 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.

Google Play is full of Android apps that track kids' online activity, thus violating the USA privacy laws such as COPPA, claims a survey from a team of university researchers and computer scientists, according to Gizmodo.

A study out of the University of California, Berkeley found that thousands of Android apps directed at children under 13, are potentially violating law United States law by collecting and sharing their data.

"This really is a market failure", Serge Egelman, " a co author of this examine as well as the director of usable privacy and security investigation at the International Computer Science Institute at UCBerkeley, informed the Washington Post.

Children's privacy could be at risk from apps in the Google Play store, a study says.

They added that it would not be hard for Google to augment their research to detect the apps and the developers that may be violating child privacy laws. You can swipe through them from left to right to choose the app you want to open, and you swipe up on them to dismiss them.

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The researchers also analysed whether apps with potential Coppa violations were part of the US Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Safe Harbor programme, under which developers submit their apps for certification that they are Coppa-compliant.

The apps targeted at children, were downloaded 750,000 times, on an average. To conduct the study, researchers modified Android's permission system to enable the real-time monitoring of apps' access to protected resources (like location data, address book contacts, etc.) and instrumented all the functions in the Android platform that access these sensitive resources.

CHECK YOUR ACCOUNT: Was your Facebook data stolen?

Another study, published at the end of 2017, shows that some of the most popular apps available on Google Play Store have tracking capabilities, rendering users' privacy of all ages vulnerable. End-users can examine our results to understand the privacy behaviors of the apps they use (or plan to use). 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.

As politicians and other critics have noted, Google and other companies in the data-monetization business have reaped massive profits from consumer information as regulators have not managed to keep up with the pace of change.

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