Apple and Android need to do more to protect young consumers who buy apps on mobile devices, according to an FTC report released Thursday.
In "Mobile Apps for Kids: Current Privacy Disclosures are Dis app ointing" (ha ha), the FTC examined 8,000 mobile apps designed for children that were sold through Apple's App Store and 3,800 through the Android Marketplace. Researchers found that in almost all instances there was no way for parents to tell what -- if any -- information the app maker might be collecting about their children, nor how that information would be stored or shared.
"The kids' app ecosystem needs to wake up, and we want to work collaboratively with industry to help ensure parents have the information they need," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement.
The FTC said the companies that make apps and the companies that sell apps both are responsible for the lack of transparency. It suggests that app makers should be required to disclose what information they will collect about users, and that the App Store and Android Marketplace should provide a consistent way for developers to display that information.