27 Apr Big tech, bigger fails in kids’ safety
Big tech giants are watching and following your kids all the time! Go ahead, give a quick glance at your phone. The kids’ apps that ‘look safe’ to you could be big traps for advertisers.
Recently, researchers found more than 3,000 child-oriented Android apps selling your child’s data to advertisers. Kid tech giant, Youtube was exposed when more than 20 consumer groups filed a complaint pushing the FTC to investigate channels and advertisements targeting kids under 13, who technically aren’t supposed to be using the site!
Even though your favorite social media app Facebook doesn’t allow kids younger than 13 from to sign up, millions of preteens are highly active on their platform. Simply providing parental controls to appear safe is not enough and that’s why you, as a parent, should do the following kids-safe checkup:
1. DISABLE LOCATION AND BE WARY OF SOCIAL FEATURES.
A lot of social apps use location services. This can make it really easy peasy for predators and advertisers to work out exactly where your child is located. Make sure your family photos and location check-ins are not publicly shared online. No kids app should ask for location access. This will only enable sharing your info with 3rd party vendors for more hyperlocal advertising and stalking.
2. ADS ARE BAD
Almost all kids apps contain pesky ads. So what’s the big hoopla? You may ask. The devil is in the unmonitored ads urging your kids to buy happy meals to even introducing their innocent world to ‘do the rex’ condoms. We are not kidding! Kids apps that support ads can very well leave your child exposed to any kind of potentially risky and risque ads.
3. KNOWING THE A-Z ABOUT YOUR FAMILY: DATA LEAKS
Data companies slyly collect all available information about your kid during online interactions or transactions. A simple click on a website or an ad via apps is a gateway for such companies to track their every activity while they surf, play and learn online.
It may surprise you but there are 30% more tracking cookies on websites aimed at kids than those aimed at adults.
However, there are some legal checks to safeguard your kids’ privacy and ensure they’re surfing age-appropriate apps and websites. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prevents kid-targeted websites and apps from collecting data from kids younger than 13 without parental consent and kidSAFE Seal Certification program thoroughly checks kids apps for guidelines such as:
- Safety measures for chat, community, and social features
- Age-appropriate content, advertising, and marketing
- Rules and educational info about online safety
- Procedures for handling safety issues and complaints
- Parental controls over child’s account
In simple terms, any kid app validated by them is danger-free and can be used freely without any parental supervision!
We, at OckyPocky, are proud to say, within just a few weeks of our Android and iOS launch, we’ve met all the protocols, and we are 100% kid safe as certified by kidsSAFE seal program. We’re not only ad-free, we also have age-appropriate content with total parental control over one’s child’s account. More deets here: https://www.kidsafeseal.com/certifiedproducts/ockypocky_app.html