The study finds thousands of apps targeted to children were sending data to advertisers, some including Global Positioning System location.
It has become a little more alarming with a recent study showing that there is now a significant portion of family-oriented applications which target children among the demographic of users taking part in the abuse of the information that has unwittingly been shared through the app.
To get understand the scope of the problem, the team of computer scientists created software that runs each of 5,855 popular children's apps for ten minutes, interacting with each app as a typical person might, and keeping track of all of the data that was transmitted or stored in the process.
Research has revealed that the apps were not only collecting phone numbers, emails and location data (5 percent), but they were also sharing sensitive information with third-parties (19 percent) which was specifically forbidden to prevent tracking and behavioral advertising.
The findings don't necessarily put app developers or publishers in court as apps may appear violating of laws.
That kid's app might be doing more than keeping your children busy, according to a new worldwide study.
More than 2,200 apps were claimed to be breaching Google's terms of service with regards to sharing "persistent identifiers", whereby information over time can be associated with individual users over time and across apps, platforms and devices.
An automated system was made use of researchers from the International Computer Science Institute to find out if the apps met with the regulations of the COPPA law meant to protect children.
Fun Kid Racing alone has more than 10 million downloads, according to the app page.
Worse, researchers point out that around a fifth of all the tested apps used an SDK that specifically prohibited developers from using its library in child-directed apps, due to the nature of its data collection. This information was actually leaked by Google in a screenshot on the Android Developers Blog, which was nearly instantly removed, cropped, and re-uploaded.
"This study has just given the FTC hundreds of companies that they could be going after right now", Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, told The Post.
When we asked Shackelford if iOS is better for kids than Android, he said "No platform is ideal, but parents should be aware that, on average, iOS does have advantages in both privacy and security over Android".
Google confirmed that it is adopting iPhone X-like notch cut-out in displays natively as it rolled out the first developer preview of Android P. Now, it looks like the search giant is planning to make use of iOS' gesture based navigation interface support.
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.