WASHINGTON – A landmark 2013 law aimed at protecting the privacy of America’s youngest mobile consumers hasn’t stopped app developers from collecting vast amounts of data, including a person’s location and even recordings of their voice, according to privacy researchers and consumer advocates.
Whether mobile app developers seek parental consent first — as required by law — or pass the information on to advertisers isn’t entirely clear. But if persons prefer to stay anonymous, their options are limited: Wade through each mobile app’s privacy policies to make sure of the terms, or stick the phone on “airplane mode” to shut off the wireless connection and risk losing functionality.
“Kids are such a lucrative market, especially for apps,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. “Unfortunately, there are still companies out there that are more concerned about generating revenue than protecting the privacy of kids.”