The study revealed that 57 percent of the 5,855 most popular free apps for Android & # 39; are potentially in violation & # 39; of COPPA.
According to reports, Google is looking more closely at apps for children in the Play Store in the light of a new study that claims that more than half of the most popular people are illegally tracking its young users.  The study by researchers at the International Institute of Computer Science revealed that 57 percent of the 5,855 free applications for Android's most popular children "are potentially in violation" of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA ), mainly due to its use by third parties. software development kits for parties.
Google did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment, but a spokesman for the network giant told Tom & # 39; s Guide that the company "takes researchers' report very seriously and examines their findings" .
"Protecting children and families is a priority, and our Designed for Families program requires developers to meet specific requirements that go beyond our standard Google Play policies." G It is said that the declaration of oogle says. "If we determine that an application violates our policies, we will take action, we always appreciate the work of the research community to help make the Android ecosystem more secure."
COPPA applies to children under the age of 13 and requires the verifiable consent of a parent or guardian before personal information about a child can be collected. Even if consent is granted, there are limitations on how the information collected can be used, additional protections should be implemented, and methods should be made available for parents to review the personal information collected.
Many of the SDKs used by the applications in The question itself offer options for configuration friendly with COPPA to disable tracking and behavioral advertising, the researchers wrote in their report. Even so, most of those applications "do not use these options" or use them incorrectly.
"Worse yet, we observe that 19 percent of children's applications collect identifiers and other personally identifiable information through the SDK whose terms of service prohibit their use in applications aimed at children," the report says. In addition, "Google's efforts to limit tracking … have had little success."