57% of children’s apps shown to break rules over data collection in the US

Child Using Phone

Recent research that a shocking numbers of apps in the Google Play Store may be collecting more data than they are legally allowed from apps aimed at children.


The study showed that of 5,855 apps, 57% were found to be potentially breaking the rules laid down in the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The study carried out by the International Computer Science Institute, and showed 19% of the apps shared sensitive data with services related to behavioral advertising, 5% collected location and contact data without parental consent, and 39% used persistent identifiers against Google’s own terms of service.


Additionally, 40% shared personal information without required security measures. Finally, 1,280 apps used Facebook, and 92% of them did not use the social network’s tools for protecting under 13-year-old users.


The main objective of the paper was to use an automated system to see how apps are complying with COPPA, and it is pointed out that it’s not to show liability or definitive proof of violations but rather highlight potential issues.