Children at risk from Android apps they use
Each day brings revelations of how the internet is impacting on people's lives...and negatively so! In the instant case, below, it's children. Meanwhile, policy-makers tut-tut and sit on their hands. One fears that the whole internet "thing" is totally out of control and in urgent need of being curbed in a meaningful, yet sensible, way.The Guardian reports today:"Thousands of child-directed Android apps and games are potentially violating US law on the collection and sharing of data on those under 13, research has revealed.A study conducted on 5,885 child-directed Android apps from the US Play Store, which are included in Google’s Designed for Families programme, found that well over half of the apps potentially violated the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa).“We identiﬁed several concerning violations and trends,” wrote the authors of the Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies, led by researchers at the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. “Overall, roughly 57% of the 5,855 child-directed apps that we analysed are potentially violating Coppa.”
The researchers found that 28% of the apps accessed sensitive data protected by Android permissions and that 73% of the tested apps transmitted sensitive data over the internet."