After the recent study showing that almost 60% of the free Android apps used by children could have violated federal law, Google responded.
A Google spokesperson stated in that if “an app violates our policies, we will take action. We always appreciate the research community’s work to help make the Android ecosystem safer.”
Violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act – 1998
The study was conducted by the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, California, showing that 57% of 5.855 Android apps that children and families use are not following federal law. It seems that they violate the law that was designed to protect the privacy of children under 13-years-old.
The report continues, saying that the children using those apps could have had their behavior monitored online. The law that might have been violated is the 1998’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which website operators must not violate the privacy and consent requirements to children under 13.
“We are taking the researchers’ report very seriously and looking into their findings. Protecting kids and families is a top priority and our Designed for Families programme requires developers to abide by specific requirements above and beyond our standard Google Play policies,” stated Google’s spokesperson.
92% Of the Apps that Use Facebook’s API Could Violate COPPA
Another issue with Android apps is that 92% of those that use the application programming interface (API) from Facebook violate the Act. This news comes in time, after Facebook is already facing scandals of reporting their 87 million users’ data to Cambridge Analytica.
Last week Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook has testified in front of the US Congress, explaining how the company handled their user data.
We will have to wait and see how Google manages the issues described in the report, considering that there are millions of free apps in Google Play Store, all easy to install by kids that know how to use a phone or a tablet.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere