Williams Pelegrin writes:
In a study published in the Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies journal, researchers at the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley found that over half of child-oriented Android apps might be in violation of the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
Titled “‘Won’t Somebody Think of the Children?’ Examining COPPA Compliance at Scale,” the study examined 5,855 child-directed apps from the Play Store. According to the researchers, all of these apps exhibited “several concerning violations and trends.”
Read more on Android Authority. If you’re concerned about your children’s – or other people’s children’s privacy, you will want to read the whole article and the original research report, as the latter even names some names, e.g.:
One particularly egregious example is app developer TinyLab. We observed that 81 of their 82 apps that we tested shared GPS coordinates with advertisers. Especially popular apps included:
– Fun Kid Racing (v3.12, 10-50M installs): GPS data shared with ads.aerserv.com (non-TLS),location-api.skydeo.com, and sdk.youappi.com
– Fun Kid Racing–Motocross (v3.12, 10-50M in- stalls): GPS data shared with ads.aerserv.com(non-TLS), location-api.skydeo.com,sdk.youappi.com, and sdkng.youappi.com
– Motocross Kids–Winter Sports (v3.15, 5-10M installs): GPS datawv.inner-active.mobi (non-TLS),c.adsymptotic.com (non-TLS), sdk.youappi.com, and location-api.skydeo.com
Many of the companies receiving location data are advertising firms whose business models rely on user profiling to perform behavioral advertising, which is ex- plicitly prohibited by COPPA.