Android Oreo on 4% of all devices, April 2018 distribution numbers show

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There's a whole range of data sharing concerns that have to be addressed, and developers may not be fully aware of these - especially for apps where kids aren't the sole focus.

About 40% of the apps were found sharing personal information without implementing reasonable security measures and 18.8% were guilty of sharing persistent identifiers with third parties for prohibited purposes. The most interesting part, Google has no idea about it.

Privacy experts have analyzed 5,855 child-directed Android apps and have found that more than half -57%- are potentially violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a USA law protecting children's private data online. Likewise, it can be hard for app store operators like Google to manually inspect apps when there are thousands added per day (over 2,700 per day as of March 2018, according to AppBrain).

The team, in its research paper, concluded that out of the 5,855 apps in the Play Store which claim to be designed for families, 28% "accessed sensitive data protected by Android permissions" and 73% of the Android apps "transmitted sensitive data over the internet".

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How do you have difficulties limiting what your children can access online?

The reason for uncertainty regarding the exact numbers is because there is no concrete, widely agreed upon criteria for determining what apps are for children.

Google should be more active in the vetting process for COPPA compliance.

The Federal Trade Commission of U.S. had warned BabyBus in 2014, for potential collection of geolocation data. This way, researchers hope Google would catch intrusive apps instead of relying on the "word" of app developers who submit their app to this section. They found that few apps are actually certified under Safe Harbor and of those that are "potential violations are prevalent". As it relates to COPPA, the aforementioned gray area and daunting task of enforcement seem to be strong-enough deterrents to not prosecute potential violators. The study also concluded that it is unclear whether "industry self-regulation has resulted in higher privacy standards; some of our data suggest the opposite". Keep in mind that the study's researchers customized Android with their own automated observation tools. Researchers also found that almost half the apps are not taking "reasonable procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of personal information collected from children". 9to5Google has shared that they are also still not sure that how it will work, they just said that it vanishes in some situation and one of those situations is your static home screen. I've already seen tutorials ...

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