A study that found over 3,300 Android apps advertised to kids tracking things like location and contact information.
Why do I care?
In the United States, COPPA (the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) outlines how the operators of websites and/or online services aimed at children under 13 should handle data. The ‘Cliff’s Notes’ version? Location and email address tracking are a no-go, among other things.
Tell me more.
Researchers at the University of California’s International Computer Institute conducted a study of nearly six thousand apps aimed at children under age 13.
Engaget reports, ” Of the 5,855 total apps included in the study, 281 of them collected contact or location data without asking for a parent’s permission.” They go on to share that, “About 40 percent of apps transmitted info without using “reasonable security measures,” and nearly all (92 percent) of the 1,280 apps with Facebook tie-ins weren’t properly using the social network’s code flags to limit under-13 use.”
According to the report, one company came out on top with violations, “One particularly egregious example is app developer TinyLab. We observed that 81 of their 82 apps that we tested shared GPS coordinates with advertisers.” TinyLab’s games are mostly racing apps like ‘Fun Kid Racing’ and ‘Motor cross Kids’.
Google offered a statement to Tom’s Guide about the study, saying, “We’re taking the researchers’ report very seriously and looking into their findings. Protecting kids and families is a top priority, and our Designed for Families program requires developers to abide by specific requirements above and beyond our standard Google Play policies. If we determine that an app violates our policies, we will take action. We always appreciate the research community’s work to help make the Android ecosystem safer.”
While Apple users can reset advertising tokens by going into their settings, Android users may be unable to do the same. If you’re interested in getting a look at an Android App’s privacy profile, there’s a search engine for that.
Time to start doing an audit.
For those that don’t have Android, it may be prudent to get these big offenders off your family play list and check app settings on the rest.
BRB, off to delete Minion Rush and a handful of Minecraft Skin Apps.
That’s What ‘They’ Said
Gender Creative Parenting is the path that Kyl and Brent Courtney-Myers are taking to raise their child, Zoomer. They have chosen not to disclose the sex of their little one so they can remain dedicated to raising a ‘theyby’ which acts on the premise that choosing gender “relies on the fact that sex and gender are not the same thing.”
Kyl and Brent share, “We simply don’t believe that is our decision to make on their behalf. By not revealing their sex, and by treating them in a gender creative way, Z will have the freedom to explore and create their own identity, outside of the restrictions and expectations of traditional gender norms.”
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Are you on a mission to tweak that number on the scale? It comes down to something simple (backed by a study) – choose a diet that works for you and that you will stick to in the longer term. In a recent study, it was revealed there is no significant difference in outcome when you stack low-fat against low-carb diets. You can lose either way.
According the the report, “Dietary modification remains key to successful weight loss. Yet, no one dietary strategy is consistently superior to others for the general population.”
So, you do you.
Here are a couple of veggie ‘fries’ recipes you can make to keep you on track. Because, we’re here for you. And, no one wants to give up fries completely, let’s be real.
Painting brings smiles and this water balloon painting tutorial from Raising Dragons looks like it would be a blast. Break out the play clothes and get messy.
Parting Thought for the Day
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.” – Barbara Bush
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