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Government investigating makers of cellphone apps

December 11, 2012 • National News


This handout image provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shows the cover of the FTC’s “Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade” guide. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating an unspecified number of software companies that make cellphone apps to determine whether they have violated the privacy rights of children by quietly collecting personal information from their phones then sharing it with advertisers and data brokers, the agency said Monday. Such apps can capture a child’s physical location, phone numbers of their friends and more. (AP Photo/FTC)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is investigating whether software companies that make cellphone apps violated the privacy rights of children by quietly collecting personal information from mobile devices and sharing it with advertisers and data brokers, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday. Such apps can capture a child’s physical location, phone numbers of their friends and more.

The FTC described the marketplace for mobile applications — dominated by online stores operated by Apple and Google — as a digital danger zone with inadequate oversight. In a report by the FTC’s own experts, it said the industry has grown rapidly but failed to ensure the privacy of young consumers is adequately protected. The FTC did Login to read more

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