Pixalate Releases First UK Child Online Safety Report for Mobile: 96% of Open Programmatic Ad-Supported Google & Apple Children’s Apps Share GPS or IP Address With Advertisers and Data Brokers

Pixalate found 800k+ mobile apps across the Google & Apple app stores that are likely accessed by children under the age of 18; 64% of UK-based Children’s Apps in the Apple App Store request permission to access personal info

Pixalate, the global market-leading fraud protection, privacy, and compliance analytics platform for Connected TV (CTV) and Mobile Advertising, today released the Q2 2022 UK Online Child Safety Report: Google and Apple App Stores, examining the state of children’s privacy through the lens of the UK Children’s Code.

According to Pixalate’s analysis, there are 800k+ mobile apps across the Google and Apple app stores that are likely accessed by children under the age of 18 and therefore may be subject to the UK Children’s Code. These “UK Children’s Apps” make up approximately 15% of all apps available for download across the Google and Apple app stores.

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Key Findings
  • 64% of UK-registered Children’s Apps in the Apple App Store request permission to access personal information.
  • 119 UK-registered Children’s Apps have a no detectable privacy policy and request permission to access personal info.
  • 11% of all UK Children’s Apps have an undetected privacy policy.
  • 68% of UK Children’s Apps are registered in unknown or undetermined countries.
  • 96% of all open programmatic ad-supported Google & Apple Children’s UK Apps transmit GPS location or IP address with advertisers and/or data brokers in the ad bid stream, according to Pixalate.
What is the UK Children’s Code & Who is Subject to it?

The UK’s Age Appropriate Design Code (the Children’s Code”) sets out 15 standards of age appropriate design reflecting a risk-based approach. The focus is on providing default settings which ensure that children have access to online services while minimizing data collection and use, by default.

The code applies to UK-based companies and non-UK companies that process the personal data of UK children. Pixalate interprets this in the context of advertising platforms and mobile apps to mean that any company that has UK children under 18 as a user is likely covered by the code.

Pixalate analyzed apps available for download via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store as of the last date of Q2 2022 (June 30).

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