Strong support for improving children's privacy online
Jalal Nasir, CEO of Pixalate, shared his views on children's privacy online with David Louie from ABC7 News. In the interview, Nasir expressed his concerns over children's privacy online and how parents, app stores, and regulators can improve it. He also shared data from a recent Harris Poll, conducted in conjunction with Pixalate, about how parents view children's online privacy.
"Half of the participants in the survey said that they do not regularly monitor what their kids do online. It was shocking because 80% of them said that they are concerned over their children's privacy online," said Nasir.
The topic has the nation's interest. In his State of the Union speech, President Biden deeply emphasized the necessity to protect children against "surveillance advertising" and excessive data collection.
We must hold social media platforms accountable for the national experiment they’re conducting on our children.
It’s time to strengthen privacy protections, ban targeted advertising to children, and demand tech companies stop collecting personal data on our children.
80% of American parents worry about children's privacy online
The Harris Poll and Pixalate survey examined American parents’ views about children’s online privacy. It found that less than half of parents of children under 13 (48%) say they monitor their children’s activities on apps daily, while more than one-fifth (21%) say they never check to see if those apps track their children’s precise GPS location.
Despite those numbers, 80% of parents say they worry about their children's privacy when using those apps, with 73% saying they're concerned about their children's location being tracked. The results are particularly alarming because the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires app operators to provide notice about data collection practices and obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information from children.
"The Harris Poll results should be a wake-up call considering the two largest app stores — Google Play and Apple — only provide a target age range for 200 apps at a time," stated Nasir. “Pixalate’s research shows there are nearly 400,000 child-directed apps in the Google and Apple app stores, about 40% of which collect sensitive data like geolocation. These poll results beg the question of whether the app operators are doing this with parental consent as required by COPPA.”
The State of Children Privacy Online
Furthermore, Pixalate released a new report - Mobile Apps: Google vs. Apple COPPA Scorecard in Q4 2021 - to analyze nearly 400,000 child-directed apps across the Google Play Store and Apple App Store through the lens of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA"). The report revealed that:
40% of child-directed apps request access to personal information
63% of child-directed mobile apps are from unknown countries
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Pixalate from February 10-14, 2022, among 465 U.S. adults ages 18 and older who are parents of children under age 13, among whom 435 say their children under 13 use online apps. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The content of this page reflects Pixalate’s opinions with respect to the factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Any proprietary 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 - opinion, not facts or guarantees.
Per the MRC,
“'Fraud' is not intended to represent fraud as defined in various laws, statutes and ordinances or as conventionally used in U.S. Court or other
legal proceedings, but rather a custom definition strictly for advertising measurement purposes. Also per the MRC,
“‘Invalid Traffic’ is defined generally as traffic
that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria, or otherwise does not represent legitimate ad traffic that should be included in measurement counts.
Among the reasons why ad traffic may be deemed invalid is it is a result of non-human traffic (spiders, bots, etc.), or activity designed to produce fraudulent traffic.”