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Android Apps Violating Children Online Privacy Protection Act

Android Apps Violating Children Online Privacy Protection Act Image credit: @GooglePlayDev George Hodan

Android Apps Violating Children Online Privacy Protection Act Image credit: @GooglePlayDev George Hodan

Google Play Store is the large source of apps related to games and other purposes for Android smartphones. According to the recent survey by researchers in a US university, children's online activities were being tracked by Android apps on Google Play store against the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. According to the Act, proper approval from parents is needed to access the data of children under the age of 13 but without any such consent, protruding the Android security, some data were accessed while some were spread from one system to another through the internet. 

Data like geolocation, personal details like email addresses and phone numbers were the crucial ones collected by Android apps. According to COPPA, using the behavioural advertising techniques on children is prohibited in the US. But, with the data collected, it is possible to implement the ad techniques on children and also many apps were violating the Android Advertising IDs privacy policies. Overall, 5,855 children apps were analysed and around 57% of them i.e. 3337 family and child-oriented apps were violating COPPA as per survey reports. The survey was not conducted on iOS apps of Apple.

More than 1000 apps were added in a single day in Google Play Store. It is definitely a big task for Google app store to check in a law-oriented manner by an automated tool for violation of any US Privacy policies.Consequently, the researchers have asked for clarification and answers from Google for the recently held survey. 

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Recently, Google Playstore's latest version 9.1.24 has been released with improvements and clearing bugs. For updating to new version, Google doesn't need any special action because it automatically downloads and updates itself. The reason for the update is to maintain stability and security.

Android Apps Violating Children Online Privacy Protection Act

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