The rules of the Google Play Store are clear, in accordance with the American and European laws regarding the advertising tracking of children. Therefore, when applications for pre-teens violate them, they are sanctioned.
As TechCrunch explains, Google has removed very popular children's apps including Princess Salon, Number Coloring and Cats & Cosplay from the Play Store, totaling more than 20 million downloads, for violating the rules in force concerning the collection of personal data. .
A decision taken following an alert issued by the IDAC (International Digital Accountability Council), whose researchers discovered that these apps collected the Android identifier of the device as well as the Android identifier for displaying advertisements (the AAID , for Android Advertising ID). This makes it possible to set up monitoring of the illicit user as soon as it applies to a young audience, for which the applications in question were intended. After checking, the same apps in iOS didn't seem to violate any rules.
Additional rules for children to follow
Google, which indicates to act as soon as an application violates its regulations, specifies that it is not the codes specific to these apps that were causing the problem, but elements present in third-party tools – or frameworks – used for their development (here Unity, Appodeal and Umeng). "These apps broke the rule that prohibits the use of development kits that are not approved for children's services (…) Pending a possible compliance, they were removed from the Play Store ", says the firm.
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Note that some developers of applications concerned edit others still present on the Play Store, apparently spared this illegal collection of tracking identifiers that can affect children.