A recent investigation unveiled that major tech companies Google and Facebook are responsible for more than 20 percent of data collection from approximately 60 children’s Android applications spanning nine categories. These categories include games, edtech, school, coding, and childcare.
Conducted by the data service company Arrka, the study emphasized that Google extracts around 33 percent of data from these applications, with Facebook trailing at 22 percent.
The report also identified smaller data recipients like AppsFlyer and AppLovin, contributing around 2 percent to the overall data collection, totaling 38 percent.
Moreover, the study disclosed that 85 percent of the surveyed apps had permission to collect sensitive data, posing potential harm to children if misused. Confidential access included 73 percent to stored files, 46 percent to the camera, 38 percent to phone details, 27 percent to contacts, and 23 percent to the exact location of the child.
Additionally, the research found that Indian apps generally have a less robust age-gating mechanism compared to global applications, which often verify users’ date of birth and restrict access to specific features based on age.
The study revealed additional significant findings, indicating that 80 percent of children’s applications contained analytics trackers, while 54 percent included advertising trackers. This trend was notably prevalent in gaming, educational technology (edtech), and coding apps.