Commentary

Kids Need Mobile Data Privacy Protection, Too

While mobile app data privacy is an issues for all consumers, a bigger focus might be around children's mobile usage -- especially in this current moment.

In its third quarter report, Pixalate, the ad fraud intelligence platform, says 90% of apps on Google and Apple stores -- 4.6 million of 5.1 million -- are targeted to kids 12 years old and younger.

But, of these, only 25% of these apps can be registered privately. That means a lot of public registration, and a lot of possible personal data floating around.

And many apps still don’t have a privacy policy -- just 20% on Android apps, 50% on IOS-based apps. Also, many apps both on Apple and Google -- 54% and 60% respectively -- have no terms of service. Another no-no.

More intrusively, apps for kids on Android request access to camera, microphone and location data.

Privacy issues around the broader mobile consumer world continue. But we know any forthcoming industry regulations can be long in coming. Until then, one would hope publishers might just adjust accordingly.

Not likely, though, with more money to be made -- especially in the current marketplace, where U.S children of all ages continue to be at home, spending much more time doing virtual schoolwork on all types of devices.

But this activity also includes entertainment/leisure content. What should kids give up -- if anything -- when mobile and virtual access is necessary in a pandemic that is not yet over?

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