NPR spoke with Geoffrey Fowler, Washington Post technology columnist, about Pixalate’s research regarding the rampant endangerment of children’s privacy within mobile apps found on the Apple and Google app stores.
Check out the recap below to find the most critical findings and quotes from the interview, and listen to the full episode here.
Concerns over children's privacy in Apple and Google Play Stores
Pixalate "found that more than two-thirds of the apps on iPhones were sending [personal data] information off to the advertising industry. It was an even higher number — 79% — on Android phones. What shocked me about this is that we have a law in America that's supposed to protect the privacy of children — and yet this is happening," said the Washington Post’s Geoffrey Fowler.
How apps avoid privacy regulations
“Many of the app developers then just claim, ‘We don't know who's using our app. It could be adults.’ Or they'll say, ‘We're really not marketing this coloring app or this math homework assistance app to children. We're marketing it to adults.’ And Apple and Google, who run these app stores and are sort of the de facto police for them, let them get away with it," Fowler said to NPR.
App stores' responsibility to protect children
One of the potential solutions to limit abuses came from Instagram, Fowler said. If a child is using a child account at the device level, which states they are under 13, the device would automatically send developers information that the developers should not collect their data unless their parents consent.
Children's privacy online is a rising topic gaining traction across media, business, and legislature. Listen to the entire interview on NPR's website to get a broader perspective on kid’s privacy online. Check out Pixalate’s latest reports to learn more about the subject.
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.”