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We know what your child’s app did this weekend!

New check shows who’s tracking and who’s sharing children’s personal data

“Avoiding apps that track your children, gather their personal data and identifiers, and pass that information on to unknown others, will be much easier very soon,” says Western Sydney University Professor of Law Elizabeth Handsley, President of the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM).

ACCM new app infoCollection of children’s personal data when online can enable predators, facilitate commercial exploitation, and build a risky longstanding digital footprint. This is a big issue for parents, who are being expected to protect their children’s privacy in the absence of specific protections in Australian privacy law. Too many popular children’s apps are gathering and on-selling your child’s personal data. It’s hard to know which apps these are, and this puts your child at risk.

Help is at hand. For the past 8 months, the ACCM has been working with research laboratory AppCensus, based in the US, to help parents make more informed decisions about their children’s privacy by showing them exactly what data various apps collect, and with whom they were observed sharing it.

The resources include a regularly updated list of top 50 Android apps played by children in Australia that have had AppCensus privacy checks to identify app data collection activity.

This system provides reliable information about:

  • the data apps have permission to access
  • the data apps actually access
  • to whom they send that data
  • whether they do so securely

Go to ACCM here for more information.

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editor@childmags.com.au