Thousands Of Creeper Android Apps Are Improperly Tracking Children According To Study

Thousands Of Creeper Android Apps Are Improperly Tracking Children According To Study

Thousands Of Creeper Android Apps Are Improperly Tracking Children According To Study

Improper data collection is now under the spotlight due to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal.

According to the findings of a new study, 3,337 Android apps geared toward kids and families are improperly collecting data on children, and all of them are now available on the Google Play Store.

South Korea's Fair Trade Commission has reportedly begun investigating Google Play over allegations that the USA tech giant's mobile app marketplace abused its market position by pressuring local game publishers to initially launch new mobile games through Google Play only. So in the end, 57% of all the apps studied are actually potentially violating the law. 19% of the apps studied shared sensitive information with 3rd party services who are mostly engaged in behavioral advertising.

Thousands of Android apps have been "improperly collecting" children's data, according to the findings of a new study. 3,337 of those apps were found to be engaging in improper collection, with 281 of them bagging contact and/or location info without asking for parental approval. A whopping 92 percent of Facebook-linked apps failed to hinder use by children under the age of 13. The apps may appear to be violating COPPA or the terms of service of the Google Play Store, but it is up to the Federal Trade Commission and Google to determine the truth behind the violations.

About 40 percent of apps transmitted info without using "reasonable security measures", and almost all 1,280 apps with Facebook tie-ins were not properly using the social network's code flags to limit under-13 use.

Google has yet to respond to this study but they will probably have to explain why these apps were allowed to still publish on the Play Store.

At the start of the year, a Google Streetview mini-game inside the firm's developer lab included a cryptic image of a pineapple cake, while a tweet about the company's developer conference in May - known as Google I/O - saw the logo turn into something that looked awfully like a pineapple.

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