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Mobile apps are harvesting preschool kids' data

Embargoed until: Publicly released:
Peer-reviewed: This work was reviewed and scrutinised by relevant independent experts.

US researchers took a look at 451 apps used by 124 preschool kids on Android devices, and found 303 (around two thirds) of the apps were sending identifiable data to third parties, some to as many as 33 of them. Older children, those with their own devices, or those from lower-education households were likely to be at higher risk of potential privacy violations, the researchers found. Fewer than one in ten of the kids were using apps that didn't pass their data to third parties, the scientists say, suggesting violations of child digital privacy laws are commonplace among app developers.

Journal/conference: JAMA Pediatrics

Link to research (DOI): 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.3345

Organisation/s: University of Michigan, USA

Funder: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Healthand Development, the National Science Foundation and the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (University of Michigan).

Media release

From: JAMA

Data Collection, Sharing Practices of Apps Played by Young Children

What The Study Did: Researchers investigated data collection and sharing practices of mobile apps played by preschool-age children and the associated sociodemographic characteristics of the children.

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  • JAMA
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