Android Apps Are Secretly Tracking Kids- MobileAppDaily

Research Reveals Thousands Of Android Apps Are Secretly Tracking Kids

Children's Online Privacy Protection law doesn't allow data tracking of kids below 13

Android published date 16th April, 2018 Akash Singh Chauhan

Android Apps Tracking Childrens

Google once in a while get a bit back on its security aspects against the millions of apps in Google Play Store. Researchers and scientists have found that plenty of Android apps are secretly tracking the children's activity. With the help of the automated system for evaluating the apps’ privacy behaviour, the team diagnosed 5,855 apps categorized for family and children's.  

According to the report of the team out of all the diagnosed apps, almost 23 percent of the app is collecting the sensitive data comes from Android protection. More than 73 percent of these apps are transmitting the gathered data to various spots over the internet. Accessing kid’s data without any parental consent breaches the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of the USA. The law restricts the online services of apps from tracking the minors data below 13 years. 

However not all the apps were found to be exactly violating the laws as simply collecting the data isn't a law-breaking according to COPPA. Along with this, the researchers potted 256 apps that were tracking the geolocation, 107 apps were collecting the email ids and almost 10 apps sharing the user's phone numbers. What is more alarming is that 1,100 apps were found to be sharing the personal identifying data with the third- parties for advertisement and other purposes banned by COPPA. In. addition, 2,281 apps were violating the Google terms of privacy by transmitting the Android Advertising Ids, that enabled us to control the ad tracking on our device. The researchers also reported that almost 40 percent of the apps are performing the data tracking actions without proper privacy measurement. 

Google did not respond to the finding yet, the researchers spotted the weak point in implementing the COPPA provisions on the apps. It isn't like that all the developers were targeting the sensitive data but most of them are not aware of the COPPA laws exactly. The Android apps are flooding in the Google Play Store right now that makes it too complex for the Google to manually scrutinize everyone one of them. The automated tool is still there for ensuring the laws but the app store operators need to check the apps by hand before restricting for not following the law. 

Akash Singh Chauhan

Akash Singh Chauhan

Akash Singh Chauhan is a senior writer at MobileAppDaily and he mainly covers all the latest happenings and tweaks in mobile app technology. Being an Engineering graduate he is always compelled to the technology and tries to discover new trends in the tech world. Along with any tech news he also never misses a single episode of ‘Dragon Ball’.

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