US FTC: Many kids' apps fail to disclose what information they share

The agency launches an investigation into several app makers targeting children

By , IDG News Service |  IT Management

"This report reveals widespread disregard for children's privacy rules," Kathryn Montgomery, a communications professor at American University in Washington, D.C., said by email. "In the rapidly growing children's mobile market, companies are seizing on new ways to target children, unleashing a growing arsenal of interactive techniques, including geo-location and use of personal contact data."

The Center for Digital Democracy, a digital rights and online privacy group, plans to file two kids' privacy complaints this week, said Jeffrey Chester, the group's executive director.

CTIA, a trade group representing mobile carriers, said in a statement that its members are committed to "honoring and respecting consumers' privacy and offering them a variety of safeguards."

It's important for parents and children to talk to each other about how the family uses mobile devices and "make themselves aware of the privacy policies made available by wireless service providers, social networks and apps," CTIA added.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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