Google Applications Tracking Young Children? Time To Monitor Your Children’s Downloads

The Google Play store, the tech giant’s platform for application software, offers thousands of apps that potentially track children’s online activity, according to a recent study.

The play store has a section called “Designed for Families.” The researchersaffiliated with the International Computer Science Institute were able to access “sensitive data protected by Android permissions” from 28 percent of tested apps on Google’s virtual shop. Of 5,855 free children’s apps, 73 percent “transmitted sensitive data over the Internet.”

The survey of the technology embedded by Google was financially supported by the National Science Foundation, and was led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CTLC). It was mainly aimed to determine if Google and the app creators were violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a federal law that restricts the extent of data collection on people under the age of 13.

The researchers found many were not complying with COPPA because they did not attain “verifiable parental consent.”

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