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Pixalate’s Q2 2022 COPPA Risk Scorecard Report: 70% of Top 1,000 Likely Child-Directed Apps in Google & Apple Stores Share Either Location and/or IP Address with Advertisers and Data Brokers

Aug 18, 2022 5:00:00 AM

Pixalate opens the list of manually reviewed top 1,000 likely child-directed apps for regulators and parents as Google Play Store sees 20% bump in likely child-directed apps

PALO ALTO, Calif. and LONDON, August 18, 2022 – Pixalate, the global market-leading fraud protection, privacy, and compliance analytics platform for Connected TV (CTV) and Mobile Advertising, today released the Q2 2022 Google vs. Apple COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) Risk Scorecard Report to examine the state of children’s online privacy across apps available for download in the Google and Apple app stores.

The list of the top 1,000 likely child-directed apps that have programmatic ads and have been reviewed by Pixalate’s Trust and Safety Advisory Board of educators can be accessed here.

Pixalate analyzed over 5 million apps available for download via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store as of the last date of Q2 2022 and found that over 422,000 are likely child-directed — an increase of 8% quarter-over-quarter. Google Play Store saw a 20% quarter-over-quarter increase of such apps, while Apple’s number decreased by 8%.

Pixalate found that over 70% of the top 1,000 most popular apps that are likely directed to children on both Google and Apple shared either GPS coordinates or residential IP addresses with advertisers during Q2 2022. Open programmatic advertisers also spent 4.1x more per app on child-directed apps (compared to general audience apps) in Q2 2022, according to Pixalate’s estimates.

Key Findings: Pixalate’s Q2 2022 Google vs. Apple COPPA Scorecard

  • There are >422K likely child-directed mobile apps across Google and Apple stores, an 8% increase quarter-over-quarter. The biggest increase came on Google (up 20% QoQ), while Apple’s number decreased 8%.
  • 9% of Apple App Store apps (152k) and 8% of Google Play Store apps (271k) are likely child-directed.
  • 24% reduction in likely child-directed apps across Google/Apple that request permissions to access personal information but have no detected privacy policy vs. Q1 2022
  • 16% of likely child-directed apps in the Apple store have no detected privacy policy, down from 21% from Q1 2022
  • 42% of likely child-directed mobile apps request permissions to access personal info, an increase from 40% in Q1.
  • 64% of likely child-directed apps have no identified country of registration; 9% are registered in the U.S. 
  • 68% of the top 150 most popular U.S.-registered likely child-directed apps manually reviewed by Pixalate transmit location information.

Read the full Q2 2022 Google vs. Apple COPPA Risk Scorecard Report here.

Pixalate uses automated processing derived from a combination of signals to determine if an app is likely to be child-directed, including the app’s category, sub-category, content rating, and contextual signals (specifically, child-related keywords in app’s title or the app’s description). Pixalate also leverages manual app review by educators on Pixalate’s Trust & Safety Advisory Board, who make assessments of apps based on the child-directed factors outlined in the COPPA Rule. See our full methodology for more information.

About Pixalate

Pixalate is the market-leading fraud protection, privacy, and compliance analytics platform for Connected TV (CTV) and Mobile Advertising. We work 24/7 to guard your reputation and grow your media value. Pixalate offers the only system of coordinated solutions across display, app, video, and OTT/CTV for better detection and elimination of ad fraud. Pixalate is an MRC-accredited service for the detection and filtration of sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) across desktop and mobile web, mobile in-app, and OTT/CTV advertising. www.pixalate.com

Disclaimer

The content of this press release, and the Q2 2022 Google vs. Apple COPPA Risk Scorecard Report (the “Report”), reflect Pixalate's opinions with respect to factors that Pixalate believes may be useful to the digital media industry. Pixalate’s opinions are just that, opinions, which means that they are neither facts nor guarantees; and neither this press release nor the Report are intended to impugn the standing or reputation of any entity, person or app, but instead, to report findings and apparent trends pertaining to mobile apps from the Google and Apple app stores. Pixalate calculates estimated programmatic ad spend through proprietary statistical models that incorporate programmatic monthly active users (MAU), the average session duration per user, the average CPM for the category of a given app, and ad density.

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