Over 3,300 out of the 5,855 Android apps on the Google Play store sampled were found to be violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a new report has found. YouTube, which Google also owns, was is the subject of a complaint filed earlier this month in which privacy groups said it was also violating COPPA.
Of course, there are only so many precautions that companies can take with regard to parental consent.
Still, the study could put parents on edge about what apps their children are using. "We also observed that 73% of the tested applications transmitted sensitive data over the internet", the study found.
Consider, for example, the developer BabyBus, which has produced countless mobile games for kids under the age of six, including "Baby Panda Care", "Little Panda Restaurant", and "Toilet Training - Baby's Potty".More news: China's trade surplus with United States rises
The Razer Phone may no longer be the world's only Android handset designed exclusively with hardcore gamers in mind, but even though Xiaomi's affordable Black Shark device is newer, the market "veteran" now runs the superior OS version. "We observed that 81 of their 82 apps that we tested shared Global Positioning System coordinates with advertisers", the researchers stated in the report. If we combine Android 7.0 and 7.1, it holds a market share of 30.8 percent, which is also the most used Android version on smartphones. As per some reports from the web, the android P will not have a separate Back, Home and Recent apps, instead, it will be a pill-shaped home button.
The study looked at 5,855 apps targeted at children, which had each been downloaded an average of 750,000 times, the researchers said. In 2016, the ad network InMobi was fined Dollars 1 million for gathering the location of users - including children - without proper consent. This means users will now see the battery level of Bluetooth devices, enjoy the new emoji, and apps will now have new neural network APIs to use. The study's authors point out their belief that Apple has strict restrictions and a thorough review process for third party apps.
In 2014, Google allowed people to reset their Android Advertising ID, which gave them better control on how online services track their data.
It's possible that some of these developers might even be sharing information without knowing it, the researchers note, because sometimes they simply don't know how many there are (the developers are still legally responsible).