OMMA’s Data & Behavior conference is barely underway, and we’re already knee-deep in privacy issues. Tackling this highly controversial subject, Kevin Trilli, VP of product management at TRUSTe is refreshing the audience on the details of a recent report from the FTC -- the one that accused developers of childrens' apps of regularly failing to adequately tell parents what data the apps collect. “This brings additional concerns,” said Trilli. “This is really picking up some momentum,” he said regarding the larger privacy debate.
Released earlier this month, the FTC described the report as "a warning call to industry," and faulted app developers, as well as the iTunes and Android marketplaces and in-app advertisers, for the lack of information.
"FTC staff believes that all members of the kids app ecosystem -- the app stores, developers, and third parties providing services within the apps -- should play an active role in providing key information to parents who download apps," states the report. "The mobile app marketplace is growing at a tremendous speed, and many consumer protections, including privacy and privacy disclosures, have not kept pace with this development."
For the report, FTC staff examined 200 Android apps and 200 iPhone apps, nearly all of which were aimed at children. The FTC reviewed pages that were available to desktop users, but didn't examine how app developers also used the mobile interface to explain privacy issues.