Oreo is now installed on 4.6% of Android devices

While everyone's in an uproar about Facebook accounts getting skimmed for data, a new study claims that thousands of Android apps are in breach of standards for monitoring kids' behavior online.

"This really is a market failure", Serge Egelman, " a co author of this examine as well as the director of usable privacy and security investigation at the International Computer Science Institute at UCBerkeley, informed the Washington Post. The team found its results with an automatic test that detects how data is handled in Android apps.

The findings also suggested that app creators that had been certified as Coppa-compliant were no better than any of the other apps at protecting children's privacy.

Further, 19 percent of children's apps collect some kind of identifier "or other personally identifiable information" using software development kits (SDKs) whose terms of service say these programs shouldn't be used in children's apps.

The researchers also said that almost half of the apps fail to always use standard security measures to transmit sensitive data over the Web, suggesting a breach of reasonable data security measures mandated by Coppa. The Recent apps tab will be replaced with the "Home" pill, which is said to be doing double duty.

The apps in question included Disney's Where's My Water?, Gameloft's Minion Rush and language learning app Duolingo.

"This analysis, from the authors' possess entrance, will not assert to spot any violation of COPPA".

COPPA applies to children under the age of 13 and requires verifiable consent from a parent or guardian before personal information can be collected about a child. Instead, it could simply be a case of misunderstandings, as the study points out. Even if the data gathered only contained a string of numbers and letters as part of an identification code, tracking companies could partner with third-party data brokers to connect that code with other slices of information collected - and form a complete user profile to deliver targeted advertising.

When we asked Shackelford if iOS is better for kids than Android, he said "No platform is ideal, but parents should be aware that, on average, iOS does have advantages in both privacy and security over Android". This data is meant for developers so they can create and update their apps according to which Android versions are the most popular, but they also give enthusiasts like us a glimpse into how quickly OEMs are adopting the latest and greatest the platform has to offer. "Remember, the Internet is written in ink!"

  • Joey Payne