Such information that is being collected and sent to advertisers, marketing firms, and data banks include the physical location of the device being used, the user’s phone number, and phone numbers of friends that the user is connected with. The FTC found that many games and apps which share information do not mention the types of data collected and who it will be shared with in their privacy disclosure, thus violating the privacy rights of children.
"Our study shows that kids' apps siphon an alarming amount of information from mobile devices without disclosing this fact to parents," said FTC Chairman John Liebowitz. Of the 400 apps tested by FTC staff members, 59% of them were sending information to ad agencies or data banks. This data can then be used by advertisers or marketing groups to create profiles on a child’s interests or habits and send messages to the child without their parents’ knowledge.
Children can also be prevented from exchanging information through an app by putting the device on “airplane mode,” which disables the device’s transmitting functions.
The FTC also recommends having a discussion with children about safety and the dangers of sharing information through apps and the internet. Let them know what information is appropriate and what is not appropriate to share with others, and tell children to check with an adult if they are unsure whether or not to enter any information into an app.