Rollout of iPads to all LA district school students may be delayed after kids bypass restrictions

ipads-education

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 …  Read more

Apple’s new App review guidelines strengthen protection for children & clamp down on gambling

apps

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 …  Read more

FTC criticizes poor privacy disclosures in apps for kids, says industry must improve standards

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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W3 Innovations pays the FTC $50,000 for collecting children’s info in iOS apps

The FTC filed a lawsuit against W3 Innovations Friday, the parent company of Broken Thumbs Apps, for collecting the personal information of children in their apps. Broken Thumbs Apps have been downloaded more than 50,000 times in the iTunes App Store, and titles include  Zombie Duck HuntTruth or Dare, and Emily’s Dress Up. Monday, the company settled with the FTC for $50,000.

The FTC’s complaint includes W3 storing more than 30,000 children’s (probably parent’s) emails and personal information on their servers. In one game, the company asked for the child’s name. In the game Emily’s Girl World, it gave children the opportunities to make comments on a related blog, which were stored on a server.

The FTC says since these apps were directly marketed to children and transmitted information over the internet, the apps are in violation of the Children’s Online privacy Protection Pact (COPPA), and the FTC’s COPPA rules. Besides settling, the company agreed to delete all of the children’s personal information off of their servers. (via Ars Technica)