Mobile apps are lifting children's personal details from their phones, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned today in a report on privacy intrusions.
The watchdog analysed 400 popular children's apps available for Android and iOS, and found that the apps continue to take sensitive information from users without disclosing what data is taken nor where it goes.
That included passing on information such as the physical location and even phone numbers to third parties.
"Our study shows that kids' apps siphon an alarming amount of information from mobile devices without disclosing this fact to parents," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said while discussing the report Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade.
Only 20 per cent of the apps probed revealed any information about the app’s privacy practices. Nearly 60 per cent transmitted information from a user's device back to the app developer or, more commonly, to an advertising network, analytics company or other third party, said the FTC.
It is feared these ad networks could potentially pool data collected from all sorts of applications to build up a complete profile on each user – crucially without the punters' knowledge or consent.
Source: The Register