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16% of apps for children in the Apple App Store have no/undetected Privacy Policy

Piotr Boiwka
Oct 18, 2021 12:35:21 PM
3 things to know:
  • 16% of apps for children in the Apple App Store have no/undetected Privacy Policy
  • 90% (1.54M) of apps in the Apple App Store purport to be suited for audiences that include children aged 12 and under
  • The percentage of apps with no/undetected privacy policy is higher for apps targeting children (16%) than apps directed to older audiences (13%)

In the Apple App Store, 1.54 million (90% of all) apps purport to be suited for audiences that include children aged 12 and under. However, the apps targeting children do not always have privacy policies and/or Terms of Service. 

According to Pixalate’s latest report, Global Mobile Ad Supply Chain: Privacy & Safety on Apps for Children - Apple App Store (H1 2021), 16% of apps for children from the Apple App Store did not have a privacy policy or had no privacy policy detected by Pixalate. It is a higher rate than for apps that are directed to older audiences (13%).

Moreover, 91% of all apps from the Apple App Store did not have or had undetected Terms of Service. This rate was equal for both apps for kids and older audiences. 

Some apps lacked full transparency regarding their origin. 10% of apps for kids were registered on a non-corporate email by a general email provider such as Gmail or Yahoo. Moreover, 8% of apps for children from the Apple App Store were privately registered, which means the website associated with the app has privatized or anonymized information.

Interestingly, 575 apps for kids available for download in the Apple App Store had no/undetected privacy policy, had no/undetected Terms of Service, and were privately registered on a non-corporate email as of the end of H1 2021, according to Pixalate’s measurements.

To learn more about dangerous permissions and privacy in the mobile ecosystem, download our Privacy & Safety on Apps for Children reports. You can find them all for free here.

Download Apple Report

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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