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65% of Top Child-Directed Google, Apple Mobile Apps Don’t Seek Parental Consent (Q1 2023)

Apr 13, 2023 11:00:00 AM

Pixalate's recent Q1 2023 Age Screening Report for Mobile Apps examined how many of the top 1,000 most popular mobile apps in the Google Play and Apple App Stores screened for age in Q1 2023.

Download the Report

Pixalate’s Trust and Safety Advisory Board manually reviewed the apps to evaluate the following aspects of the registration flow:

  • Presence of an age screen
  • If children under 13 could access the app
  • Whether the the app sought Verifiable Parental Consent (VPC)
  • Whether the app was likely child-directed

(Popularity is based on downloads in the Google Play Store and reviews in the Apple App Store.)

The report covers a wide range of data points, so we thought it would be beneficial to highlight some of the most interesting findings.

98% of likely child-directed mobile apps with no age gate from the Apple App Store requested access to personal information via permission(s)

Of analyzed apps that did not screen for age (Q1 2023):

Access Camera:

  • Apple - 67%
  • Google - 22%

Access Microphone:

  • Apple - 21%
  • Google - 13%

Access Location:

  • Apple - 63%
  • Google - 7%

Access to Personal Information via Permissions:

  • Apple - 98%
  • Google - 37%


49 of the top 75 child-directed apps analyzed screen for age but allow children to access the app without seeking parental consent.

Of analyzed child-directed apps that screen for age (Q1 2023):

  • No VPC & Allows Children - 65%
  • VPC & Blocks Children - 25%
  • VPC & Allows Children - 9%


Google Play Store apps that age screen and allow children are nearly 2x more likely to share location information in the ad bid stream vs. Apple apps.

Of analyzed apps that screen for age and allow children (Q1 2023):

Transmits Location in Ad Bid Stream:

  • Apple - 55%
  • Google - 94%

Transmits IP in Ad Bid Stream:

  • Apple - 35%
  • Google - 81%

Has Programmatic Ads:

  • Apple - 55%
  • Google - 94%

For more analysis of Age Screening & Parental Consent On Mobile Apps, download a free copy of the report here:

Download the Report

If you are interested in more insights like the above, across desktop, mobile and CTV devices,  please reach out to us using this contact form.


The content of this blog, and the “Q1 2023 Children’s Online Privacy Risk Report: Age Screening & Parental Consent On Mobile Apps” (the "Report"), reflect Pixalate's opinions with respect to 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. Pixalate is sharing this data not to impugn the standing or reputation of any entity, person or app, but, instead, to report findings and trends pertaining to privacy and information security practices and compliance across mobile apps in the time period studied.

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