All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

FTC slams children's app developers on privacy

11 Dec 2012

Mobile app developers are endangering the privacy of children with reckless personal data practices, according to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

A new report from the FTC slammed developers for continuing to collect more information than needed when operating, and assuming higher access privileges without first asking for parental approval.

The survey is the second in an annual series of reports assessing the state of consumer privacy in the children's mobile software space. The commission found that developers have made "little progress" since 2011.

"While we think most companies have the best intentions when it comes to protecting kids’ privacy, we haven’t seen any progress when it comes to making sure parents have the information they need to make informed choices about apps for their kids," said FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz.

"In fact, our study shows that kids' apps siphon an alarming amount of information from mobile devices without disclosing this fact to parents. All of the companies in the mobile app space, especially the gatekeepers of the app stores, need to do a better job."

The FTC report noted a number of invasive behaviours, including connecting to social networking and advertising platforms to upload data without notification. The commission found that 80 percent of the applications it tested were not properly reporting access permissions to users, while some 60 percent improperly transmitted information.

The FTC also left the door open for further action, saying it would be further investigating whether developers and service providers have violated US child protection laws.

To improve the security and privacy of children, the commission is advising users to incorporate security best practices into the development process and better explaining access permissions and practices to users.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

More on Mobile Software
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

BYOD vs CYOD vs BYOC poll

Which approach is your firm taking to managing employees' mobile devices?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
Galaxy S5 vs One M8 video review

Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 video review

We see which Android contender is best for business

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Data protection: the key challenges

Deduplication is a foundational technology for efficient backup and recovery


iPad makes its mark in the enterprise

The iPad can become a supercharged unified communications endpoint, allowing users to enhance their productivity

CRM Business Analyst - Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0/2011

CRM Business Analyst - Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0/2011...

Senior Business Analyst

Senior Business Analyst ITIL, BA, Software Bridgend £50...

UX Designer

UX Designer required for an initial 6 month contract...

DV Cleared Technical Consultants

An established Consultancy working across the Government...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.