Engadget: Study finds over 3,300 Android apps improperly tracking kids. “There’s little doubt that mobile apps sometimes overstep their bounds by collecting more data from kids than the law allows. But how often does that happen? It might be more than you think. Researchers using an automated testing process have discovered that 3,337 family- and child-oriented Android apps on Google Play were improperly collecting kids’ data, potentially putting them in violation of the US’ COPPA law (which limits data collection for kids under 13). Only a small number were particularly glaring violations, but many apps exhibited behavior that could easily be seen as questionable.”
Wired: Children’s YouTube is still churning out blood, suicide and cannibalism. “WIRED found videos containing violence against child characters, age-inappropriate sexualisation, Paw Patrol characters attempting suicide and Peppa Pig being tricked into eating bacon. These were discovered by following recommendations in YouTube’s sidebar or simply allowing children’s videos to autoplay, starting with legitimate content.”
CNET: Happy 90th, Mister Rogers! Twitch to stream all 856 episodes. “Need a trip back to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe? Don’t we all? Starting Tuesday, you can watch all 856 episodes of classic children’s show ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ on free live-streaming site Twitch.” It started yesterday.
Brussels Times: Belgium sets minimum age for joining social media at 13 years. “The minimum age for registering on social media will now be 13 years in Belgium, following the government’s approval of a bill to this effect proposed by the Secretary of State for the Protection of Private Life, Philippe De Backer.”
Oh gross. Business Insider: The YouTube Kids app has been suggesting a load of conspiracy videos to children. “YouTube’s app specifically for children is meant to filter out adult content and provide a ‘world of learning and fun,’ but Business Insider found that YouTube Kids featured many conspiracy theory videos which make claims that the world is flat, that the moon landing was faked, and that the planet is ruled by reptile-human hybrids.”
MakeUseOf: 10 Exciting iPhone Education Apps for Kids. “In a little more than a decade, the combination of the iPhone and apps have transformed so many parts of our lives. From social networks and communication to games and much more, the iPhone has made learning, play, and everything in between easier and more enjoyable. One area that’s seen huge change is education. Thanks to the iPhone’s slim form factor, easy to use software, and touchscreen, even toddlers can use the smartphone to learn while having fun.”
CNBC: Facebook says it gave ‘nudges’ to children to get them to communicate using Messenger Kids. “When Facebook was testing Messenger Kids before rolling it out in December, the company found “It was hard for kids to initiate the communication,” said Tarunya Govindarajan, the manager who built the product, to an audience gathered in Washington for the company’s Global Safety Network Summit. “We wanted to give them nudges to start the conversation,” she said.” Makes me uncomfortable.