FTC staff conducted its follow-up survey during the summer of 2012. Like the first survey, the new survey examined the disclosures that apps provided about their privacy practices and interactive features, such as links to social media. However, the new survey went a step further by testing the apps’ practices and comparing them to the disclosures made. Specifically, the new survey examined whether the apps included interactive features or shared kids’ information with third parties without disclosing these facts to parents. The answer: Yes, many apps included interactive features or shared kids’ information with third parties without disclosing these practices to parents.”
In short, it appears that the FTC strongly believes that companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) have the ability to take additional measures to ensure parents have the appropriate information when downloading an app for their child. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz sums up the report with the following:
“We haven’t seen any progress when it comes to making sure parents have the information they need to make informed choices about apps for their kids. All of the companies in the mobile app space, especially the gatekeepers of the app stores, need to do a better job.”
Despite the fact that the first report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was an eye opener, the results of the follow-up were not much better. In fact, it appears that little progress has been made, and that “undisclosed sharing is occurring on a frequent basis.” Let us know our thoughts on the report, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in the comments section below.