Not to be outdone by Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which a political data company may have overflowed the private data of approximately 87 million users or more, Google was accused of violating the Children's Online Privacy Act (COPPA)
According to a recent study analyzing 5,855 of the most popular free apps for children, researchers from the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) at Berkeley found that a majority is potentially against COPPA. As a result, children under the age of 13 see targeted advertising that should not happen.
Days after the study titled "" Will not someone think of the kids? "Began making the round online, a Google spokesperson responded on Tuesday Tom's Guide :
We take the report of the researchers very seriously and examine their findings.
Protecting children and families is a top priority, and our Designed for Families program requires developers to meet specific requirements that go beyond our standard Google Play policies. If we find that an app violates our policies, we will take action. We are always excited about the work of the research community to make the Android ecosystem more secure.
It's nice to know that Google takes the report "very seriously", but the fact is that Google Play is filled with millions of apps. Many of them are free to download and easy to access, especially for children who grew up with cell phones and tablets. If it's easy for app developers to circumvent the rules (whether they're doing it deliberately or by accident), then Google has more to do than tackle "individual apps."