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157K+ apps for kids in the Google Play Store requested GPS, Camera, and Microphone access in H1 2021

Nov 10, 2021 12:34:41 PM

3 things to know:

      • In H1 2021, almost 3 million apps in Google Play Store purported to be suited for audiences that include children aged 12 & under.
      • 157,000 apps for kids from the Google Play Store requested all three of the following “dangerous permissions”: Access Fine Location, Camera, and Microphone.
      • 149 apps requested these three permissions and also did not have a detected Privacy Policy.

According to Pixalate's analysis, 87% of apps in the Google Play Store in H1 2021 purported to be suited for audiences that include children aged 12 and under. However, even though privacy has become one of the most critical aspects in mobile, some apps do not meet certain criteria distinguishing safe and privacy-friendly environments for users.  

Privacy issues in Google Play Store Apps

In H121, 69% of apps for kids requested at least one “dangerous permission” (as defined by Google), and 20% did not have a privacy policy. Additionally, there were apps requesting multiple dangerous permissions without having a detectable privacy policy

There were 157,000 apps in the Google Play Store requesting access to all three of fine location (GPS coordinates), camera, and microphone, which are considered as permissions with among the most significant negative impact on users' privacy if exploited. 149 of these apps also had no detected privacy policy.

Download Google Report

Disclaimer

The content of this report reflects Pixalate’s opinions with respect to the factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Any data shared is grounded in Pixalate’s proprietary technology and analytics, which Pixalate is continuously evaluating and updating. Any references to outside sources should not be construed as endorsements. Pixalate’s opinions are just that, opinions, which means that they are neither facts nor guarantees. 

It is important to also note that the mere fact that an app lacks a Privacy Policy, lacks Terms of Service, is Privately Registered, and/or is registered under a Non-Corporate Email does not necessarily mean that such app, or its publisher, is actually exploiting data.

Instead, Pixalate is merely rendering an opinion that these data points may be suggestive of heightened risks to data subjects. Pixalate is sharing this data not to impugn the standing or reputation of any entity, person or app, but, instead, to render opinions and report trends pertaining to apps available for download via the official Google Play Store. 

Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. 

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