children October 14

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children October 6

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Updated parental guidelines are needed to help make informed decisions about the use of technology by children, says the American Academy of Pediatrics, as it revealed that more than 30% of U.S. children first use a mobile device while still in diapers. The AAP says that “digital life begins at a young age, and so must parental guidance.”

The Academy says that its existing policy statement was actually drafted before the first iPad was launched. A two-day symposium held earlier this year generated twelve key messages, based not just on limiting screen time but also on distinguishing helpful from harmful use of technology …  expand full story

children December 13, 2013


children September 26, 2013


The LA Times is reporting that the distribution of iPads to all 640,000 students in the LA school district may be temporarily halted after high school pupils worked out how to bypass the restrictions placed on the devices. Apple announced back in June that an initial start to the rollout was worth $30M.

While the school networks block apps such as facebook while at school, a personal profile was used to limit usage of the devices when taken home. Within a week, children at Theodore Roosevelt High School had worked out that deleting this profile removed the restrictions …  expand full story

children August 15, 2013


Apple has strengthened its App Review Guidelines to require greater protection of children under 13 years and to clamp down on gambling apps that involve real money.

Some of the changes were required in order to comply with tougher requirements in the newly-expanded Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which prohibits apps from collecting personal data from children under 13 without ‘verifiable parental consent.’ Personal data initially meant name, address, phone numbers, email address and present location, but has now been expanded to include photos, video and audio. Apple has, however, gone further …  expand full story

children February 16, 2012

Let’s take a quick break from the hordes of Mountain Lion OSX news to talk about privacy issues within apps…again. However, this time the spotlight is on children’s apps in both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Marketplace.

The Federal Trade Commission released a report today (PDF) based on a survey that found apps for children do not fully disclose the types of data collected nor do they adequately educate parents about data harvesting.

The consumer protection agency scrutinized privacy policies, recommended each developer give comprehensible disclosures on how data is accrued and shared, including whether children’s data is linked to social network apps, and it even mentioned conducting a six-month review on disclosures and using enforcement if needed. The report focused on the two main app stores themselves and requested more be done to tell children and their parents about privacy concerns…

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