Tag: mobile game security

Mobile gaming set to change with new COPPA rules

mobile gaming security rules childrenFTC issues amendments to COPPA that could affect mobile gaming

Earlier this month, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a U.S. agency committed to promoting consumer protection, issued a call to the mobile applications industry to bolster their security measures for applications that are designed for children. Mobile gaming application are rampantly popular among children, and the FTC believes that the majority of these applications do not have adequate security measures in place to protect the information of consumers. The agency has released amendments to the Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) this week detailing some of the changes that must be made to mobile gaming and the applications business in general.

Developers banned from collecting information from children

According to the COPPA amendments, mobile gaming applications are completely forbidden from collecting personal data from users that are under the age of 13. Developers will have to received parental consent in order to obtain this information. The ban keeps mobile gaming applications from collecting geographic information as well in an attempt to provide young consumers with another layer of protection. Geographic information is often used in marketing to target specific demographics.

Developers tasked with securing personal information

The changes to the COPPA law also close a loophole that allowed applications to collect a wide assortment of information from consumers. These applications often use third party solutions to acquire personal information from users. The FTC notes that developers and applications providers will need to take reasonable steps in securing the protection of a child’s personal information and ensure that this information is kept confidential.

COPPA changes may be difficult to comply with due to consumer honesty

Changes to COPPA may have an impact on the mobile gaming sector, but app developers are likely to adapt well to the changes. There are concerns that children often use mobile applications without the consent of their parents. Protecting the information of young consumers is largely linked to the honesty of these consumers, which can be a problematic issue as young consumers tend to bend the truth in order to gain access to applications that may not be suitable for their age group.

Mobile games for kids may not be as secure as they should


Mobile Games ChildrenFederal 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.

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.