Check out the results of global project about personal information collected. If you have not read privacy policies in the past, these results may make you see why it is in your interest to do so. 29 data regulators reviewed apps and websites either designed for children or popular with children. These efforts were part of The Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) “Privacy Sweep”.
About the GPEN Privacy Sweep
The goals of the Sweep initiative included: increasing public and business awareness of privacy rights and responsibilities; encouraging compliance with privacy legislation; identifying concerns that may be addressed with targeted education and/or enforcement; and enhancing cooperation amongst privacy enforcement authorities.
What are the concerns raised?
I am sad to see that 71% of websites and apps don’t even offer a way to delete an account once it is created. 67% of sites and apps reviewed do collect personal information from children.
Why is that? It is clear to me that information collected is the product. Information through relevant advertisements turns in to money. Have people given up on making money by selling apps? It seems that the main source of revenue is advertising, and not just for free apps but also for paid apps. Advertising without collecting personal information cannot be relevant, and hence is ineffective. So you need personal information to make advertisements; a vicious cycle. On a positive not,e at least 31% had some control in place to limit information collected. 24% encouraged parental involvement, which is also a good sign. We need more apps and websites that behave like this.
I understand that developing software is difficult, and we need a way to monetize our efforts. For us at “designX6” it is a simple decision. We make money by selling software, not by selling advertisements in our software. As an example,the Hallows Thieves game we created in 2012 has no advertisements, or in-app purchases. We also do not collect any user information. Over the last few months we worked on a new version of this app, keeping our philosophy of “sell apps, not personal information.”
Pay one price, and play the game on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch with our Universal app release. We have some improved animations this time for ghosts and candies. We hope you will like our spin on these characters in the game. Go get the Hallows Thieves from the app store this Halloween, and rest assured that the app will not collect any personal information from users–simple as that.