Tag: children mobile games

Microsoft could help make mobile games safer for children

Mobile games represent some risks for young consumers

As mobile devices become increasingly common among children, their exposure to mobile games is skyrocketing. This trend has not gone unnoticed by the game industry, of course, as many developers fashion games to specifically appeal to young consumers. While this practice is not often criticized, there are dangers that exist in the world of mobile gaming that could be considered to be exploitative to young children. In-game advertising is one such danger, as children often engage in ads that collect personal information from the users of mobile devices. In-game purchases are also another danger and it is not uncommon for children to spend significant amounts of their parent’s money while playing mobile games.

Patent outlines software system from Microsoft

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has made public a patent application from Microsoft that may help mitigate the dangers that face children in the realm of mobile games. The patent outlines a centralized system throughout which parents can monitor and restrict the activities of a mobile device. This could help parents keep their children from engaging in advertisements that collect personal information and keep these children from making frivolous purchases in their favorite mobile games.

mobile games safe for childrenSoftware could restrict features of nearly any mobile device

According to the patent, the software system can be set up on nearly any mobile device. The software will be able to monitor the activity of this mobile device and can alert parents when these devices are being used overnight or when a child visits a website that is considered off-limits. The software can also restrict the capabilities of a smartphone, allowing children to only call their parents or make use of emergency numbers. The system could also place major restrictions on the features of smartphones and tablets during school hours.

Lawmakers work to mitigate risks associated with mobile games

While mobile games are not malicious by nature, there are relatively few restrictions in place that are meant to protect the privacy of young consumers and limit the amount of money they can spend on these mobile games. In the U.S., federal lawmakers are working to improve security standards in order to ensure that mobile games do not exploit children and young adults.

Mobile games landscape set to shift in the US

Federal law takes aim at mobile games

The mobile games space in the U.S. is slated for major changes at the beginning of next month. On July 1, 2013, the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) goes into effect. Through the law, the Federal Trade Commission will work to limit the risks that children are exposed to through mobile games and similar media platforms. One of the provisions of the law requires that all mobile developers acquire new privacy certifications from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

Developers pushed to take privacy more seriously

The ESRB’s Privacy Certified program has long existed to account for the privacy risks that are associated with certain forms of online media. The program exists primarily as a way to help app developers comply with COPPA’s stringent regulations. The program has been expanded to better serve the needs of developers of mobile games. The program offers security and privacy analysis for developers and offers them will a variety of solutions that could help them comply with federal law.

mobile games - privacy concerns Mobile games continue to raise privacy concerns

Mobile games have been gaining a significant amount of political attention in the U.S. due to the privacy concerns that have been raised concerning children. Mobile games are quite popular among young people, but these games do little to inform players that their personal information is being collected. Much of the issue lies in the fact that many mobile games do not even ask for approval to collect such information, which is then aggressively used for marketing and other such purposes.

Privacy is becoming a major issue in the US

Privacy has become a major issue in the U.S. and more industries are falling under harsh scrutiny when it comes to consumer information. Mobile games are not exempt from this, as they have long been the target of criticism when it comes to the issue of privacy and the wonton collection of data. Developers that wish to continue producing mobile games must soon take steps to comply with COPPA lest they find the U.S. market significantly more hostile in the immediate future.