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Google Play under FTC investigation in Korea for abuse of market position

Google Play under FTC investigation in Korea for abuse of market position

After testing 1.8 million apps, he found nearly 20,000 featured built-in passwords and keys, and even when a separate password store was used, user data was still open to attack from simple password crackers. It's possible that some of these developers might even be sharing information without knowing it, the researchers note, because sometimes they simply don't know how many there are (the developers are still legally responsible). Needless to say, those are red flags for any app targeted at kids.

The study also looked at how the apps were transferring the data, and found that 40 percent of them failed to do it in a secure way.

"Geolocation data not only reveals where individuals live, but could also enable inferences about their socioeconomic classes, everyday habits, and health conditions, among others", the study reads. The app's developers, Tiny Lab Productions, said in an email that its apps are "directed for families", and not children, because "we see that grownups and teens plays our games". The collection of data by any such app doesn't necessarily mean that the app is violating Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), but none of these apps has obtained required consent from parents that could be verified.

The findings don't necessarily put app developers or publishers in court as apps may appear violating of laws. "Yet, we observed them transmitting hardware and network configuration details to a Chinese analytics company called TalkingData", the report said.

Fun Kid Racing alone has more than 10 million downloads, according to the app page.

The study comes a week after a group of privacy and children's advocacy groups, including the CCFC, filed an FTC complaint against YouTube, arguing that Google's video platform was illegally collecting personal data from children. In 2016, the ad network InMobi was fined United States dollars 1 million for gathering the location of users - including children - without proper consent. Finally, we show that efforts by Google to limit tracking through the use of a resettable advertising ID have had little success: of the 3,454 apps that share the resettable ID with advertisers, 66% transmit other, non-resettable, persistent identifiers as well, negating any intended privacy-preserving properties of the advertising ID.”.

Unlockd and its partners seek to reward user's attention by returning a portion of the advertising revenue back to users in the form of mobile data, credit off phone bills, entertainment content, or loyalty points.

The study finds thousands of apps targeted to children were sending data to advertisers, some including Global Positioning System location.

Google's AIY Projects have so far consisted of a Voice and a Vision kit, but they're getting an overhaul today with Google announcing revamped versions are heading to retailers across America.

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