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Almost 600,000 apps for kids from the Google Play Store have no/undetected Privacy Policy

Piotr Boiwka
Oct 25, 2021 12:00:20 PM
3 things to know:
      • 87% of apps in the Google Play Store purport to be suited for audiences that include children aged 12 and under
      • 20% of apps for kids from the Google Play Store have no/undetected Privacy Policy 
      • 90% of apps for kids from the Google Play Store have no/undetected Terms of Service

There are almost 3 million apps in the Google Play Store that purport to be suited for audiences that include children aged 12 and under, according to Pixalate’s latest analysis. 87% of all apps present in the store at the end of the first half of 2021. However, they do not always have a detected Privacy Policy.

According to Pixalate’s latest report, Global Mobile Ad Supply Chain: Privacy & Safety on Apps for Children - Apple App Store (H1 2021), 20% of apps for children from the Google Play Store did not have a privacy policy or had no privacy policy detected by Pixalate. However, it was a lower rate than in apps targeting older audiences (33%).

Furthermore, 90% of apps for children in the Google Play Store had no/undetected Terms of Service. This rate was also lower than in apps for older audiences (93%).

However, the potential for privacy risks was not lower across the board on apps for children in the Google Play Store.

For example, apps for children were registered on a non-corporate email by a general email provider such as Gmail or Yahoo at a higher rate than apps not for children (56% to 50%).

Also, a higher percentage of apps for children (8% to 7%) were privately registered. It means that the website associated with the app has privatized or anonymized information.

Furthermore, 11.8K total apps in the Google Play Store have no/undetected privacy policy, no/undetected TOS, and are privately registered under a non-corporate email.

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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