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Webinar recap: Global Mobile App Supply Chain Privacy & Safety in 2021

Piotr Boiwka
Oct 22, 2021 5:00:00 AM

Pixalate recently hosted a webinar to dive deep into the latest trends in the mobile in-app ad ecosystem relating to risk factors around consumer privacy, safety, and compliance — with a key focus on the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Webinar's speakers included:

  • Allison Lefrak - Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Ads Privacy and Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Compliance at Pixalate
  • Tyler Loechner - Director of Marketing at Pixalate

Full Webinar: Global Mobile App Supply Chain Privacy & Safety in 2021

 

Calls for a national privacy law in the U.S.

Privacy has recently emerged as one of the most daunting challenges across all industries, particularly digital advertising. Both businesses and the government are focusing on privacy.

"I think ... Apple's decision to turn off the identifier for advertisers by default, and Google planning to turn off third-party cookies in the Chrome browser, are indicative of a trend of big tech making it more difficult to track consumers across different publishers' websites. In addition, the recent enactment of state privacy laws in California, Virginia, and Colorado, and at least four other states that have pending privacy legislation in committee, has increased focus on consumer privacy on Capitol Hill," explained Allison Lefrak - Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Ads Privacy and COPPA Compliance at Pixalate.

Potential support from the business community for federal privacy law may help drive nationwide legal changes. The business entities and leaders do not want to have to deal with 50 slightly different state regulations, Lefrak contended. Instead, there is support for a national privacy law. For example, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet (Google), recently “argued for the creation of a federal privacy standard in the U.S., similar to the GDPR in Europe,” per TechCrunch.

Mobile app store privacy trends

Tyler Loechner presented data highlighting some of the most crucial trends across the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, based on Pixalate’s recent reports:

Google Play Store privacy trends

  • 87% of all apps in the Google Play Store purport to be suited for audiences including children aged 12 and under.
  • Apps for children in H1 2021 were more likely to request at least one "dangerous permission" than apps for older audiences (69% to 59%).
  • 20% of all apps for children in H1 2021 had no/undetected privacy policy, compared to 33% of apps for older audiences.
  • 600,000 apps were delisted from the Google Play Store in H1 2021.

Apple App Store privacy trends

  • 90% of all apps in the Apple App Store purport to be suited for audiences including children aged 12 and under.
  • 224,000 apps were delisted from the Apple App Store in the first half of 2021.
  • 59% of apps on the Apple App Store that were delisted had no/undetected privacy policy versus 16% on apps that are still available for download.
  • Nearly 5,000 apps for children from China on the Apple App Store have no/undetected privacy policy.

You can download the H1 2021: Global Mobile Ad Supply Chain: Privacy & Safety on Apps for Children Reports here: Google Report and Apple Report.

Dangerous permissions in mobile apps

"Dangerous permissions" are permissions requested by apps with potentially the highest risk of breaching users' privacy (though it does not mean that apps requesting such permissions actually exploit users' data). Pixalate shared data in the webinar about "dangerous permissions" on apps in the Google Play Store in H1 2021:

  • Over a million apps for kids on the Google Play Store can access the device's fine location.
  • Nearly a million apps on the Google Play Store can access the camera.
  • 11% of apps for kids on the Google Play Store can record audio.
  • There was a 21% YoY increase in the number of Google Play Store apps that request the record audio permission.
  • There was a 13% YoY increase in the number of apps that request access to the camera.

Download Pixalate's H1 2021 Mobile App 'Dangerous Permissions' Report to learn more.

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