A majority of websites and mobile applications assessed as part of a global privacy sweep are collecting personal information from children – some of which can be particularly sensitive – and sharing it with third parties.
The results of the third annual Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) Privacy Sweep show that many are also failing to provide adequate protective controls to effectively limit the collection of personal information from children and are redirecting children to other sites with different privacy protection practices and sometimes questionable content.
The Privacy Sweep considered apps and websites both targeted specifically at children, as well as those popular among them.
“Children represent a vulnerable segment of the population and companies should make every attempt to avoid collecting their personal information,” Commissioner Daniel Therrien says. “We were pleased to see that a smaller, albeit significant, number of mostly targeted websites and apps swept did not collect any personal information at all, demonstrating it is possible to have a successful, appealing and dynamic product that is also child friendly and worry-free for parents.”
The Sweep also shed light on whether websites and apps are seeking parental involvement and whether users could easily delete their personal account information.
For more information see the OPC’s News Release.