Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

Over 3000 free Android apps violate kids' U.S. privacy law

Over 3000 free Android apps violate kids' U.S. privacy law

"Unlockd's legal counsel has confidence that the threats made by Google to withdraw access and the supply of services in respect of Google Play and AdMob represent an abuse of its dominant position and breach of competition rules", the statement reads. 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 measured which versions of Android were used to access the Play Store during the 7-day period ending on April 16, 2018, and found that usage of Android Oreo (8.0 and 8.1) had grown 4.6 percent from 1.1 percent in early February.

The survey of the technology embedded by Google was financially supported by the National Science Foundation, and was led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CTLC).

COPPA, a law approved in 1998 and revised in 2003, prohibits applications from collecting the private information of children under 13 without a parent's specific consent.

The report lists a number of likely violators, including "NFL Emojis" and "BookMyne".

It's possible that some of these developers might even be sharing information without knowing it, the researchers note, because sometimes they simply don't know how many there are (the developers are still legally responsible).

That kid's app might be doing more than keeping your children busy, according to a new global study.

"Although we can not know the true number of children's apps in the Play Store, we believe that our results are representative, given that the apps that we examined represent the most popular free ones", the study, first spotted by Engadget, concluded. But there's reason to believe that's not working all that well. You should set up the app so that the app will automatically update when developers release a new version. End-users can examine our results to understand the privacy behaviors of the apps they use (or plan to use).

But Mapbox's system, an amalgamation of 130 data sources, is appealing to some developers because it allows greater customization, Chen said. That's why, for the most part, the industry has relied on self-regulation. However, it is not yet clear if double tapping on the Pill tab allows a user to switch between their last two opened apps, as it now functions on the Google's Pixel and Nexus devices.

Some of us are just starting to realize all the ways companies like Facebook and Google use our data to make money.

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