Tuesday, December 11, 2012

FTC's study raises concerns over Kids' privacy over use of Mobile Apps

The laws that are in effect are those of 1998 and need serious updating  in the video conference, Jeffery Chester mentions that the FTC is lagging over regulation of what kind of information must be collected by Apps, there are serious information out there being circulated all over the internet like current location, device id, phone numbers, etc.

While there are apps / tools available for parents so that parents could monitor quickly over what information is being shared by a particular app, however there is still a lot that needs to be done according to one of the speakers in the conference.

The mobile app industry is the one that is using the latest technology and doing the most they can in order to make their apps as interactive and appealing to their customers as they can, however the regulation industry is seriously far far behind in terms of maintaining regulations. Clearly, looking at the current situation and the way privacy is being breached of several thousands of kids all over the globe, this is not an industry that could simply be left and expected to self regulate itself.

Speakers even raise concerns over careless behaviour of parents, as they simply handover gadgets to their kids without even noticing what they are doing with those gadgets and what possible consequences could that lead to given the fact that realtime location, device ids, phone numbers are all being traced by these applications.

Other issues raised is the trouble of too much information being made available to the parents and kids and so quite often, people are just not bothering reading the information and they simply go on agreeing the terms and then the companies claim that they disclosed the privacy policy and people have agreed to it.

Companies are even bribing customers through rewards like free ringtones, etc if they let share their accurate location and other information.

More information at LA times could be found HERE.

Watch the Google Hangout featuring consumer columnist David Lazarus, who will be speaking with a spokesman for the app industry, Morgan Reed of the Assn. for Competitive Technology, and digital privacy advocate Jeffrey Chester.