Federal Trade Commission targets mobile games designed for children
Privacy in mobile games has become a very problematic issue, according to the Federal Trade Commission, a government agency focused on consumer rights. According to the agency, the developers of mobile games that target children are not doing enough to protect the privacy of these consumers. These mobile applications often collect information from their users, such as name, email address, and even financial information provided by parents. If these applications are compromised by malware, this information could be exploited, with catastrophic consequences.
Mobile games for children are not developed with privacy in mind
Developers of mobile games, especially those targeting children, rarely have privacy as a primary concern. Younger consumers are not necessarily considered to have access to any vital information that would attract the interest of a hacker, but this is not usually the case. The Federal Trade Commission notes that many young consumers make use of their parent’s information, often without the knowledge of their parent. While this practice is typically rare, the growing popularity of mobile devices and their reach to a younger audience is causing this practice to spike.
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Developers not supplying enough information
Moreover, the Federal Trade Commission suggests that developers of mobile games have not done enough to provide parents with the information they need to make informed choices regarding the applications that their children use. Mobile games designed for younger consumers are often marketed in a way that would be appealing to children, not adults. The agency notes that only 15% of the mobile games it examined for its investigation provided information letting parents know that there are in-app advertisements, many of which are designed to acquire information from the person following them.
Privacy continues to be a major concern for mobile consumers
Privacy continues to be a hot topic in the mobile space. Companies like Apple have run into legal trouble in the past over their privacy and security methods. Privacy concerns are beginning to affect the mobile applications market, with consumers becoming less willing to purchase or download a particular app unless they can be convinced that their information is protected in some way.