A Lot of Games Are Collecting Data on Your Kids, Says a New Study — Here’s How to Avoid It

When your little Timothy is screaming because he’s having a very premature midlife crisis, you might be tempted to hand him your Google Pixel. You might want to give him a game with bright colours and saccharinely sweet characters. You might have the urge to soothe his temper tantrum with such guillotine-like precision.

However, this may not be the best move, and here’s why:

A Lot of Games Are Collecting Data on Your Kids

The organisation Children and Media Australia did a spicy collab with Serge Egelman, the research director of Usable Security and Privacy Research at the University of California, Berkeley, which resulted in some very interesting info getting published. This is because they audited 186 Android children’s entertainment apps to find out how safe they were. According to the ABC, a lot of them were notably rubbish.

Egelman discovered that 101 of the 186 apps that he tested contained some concerning code. This meant that these apps could give sensitive information about young Aussies to corporate entities all across the globe. Egelman stated that the practice of children unknowingly providing companies with their most sensitive information was problematic.

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Which Games Should You Avoid?

Two apps you should avoid downloading are Star Wars: Pinball 7 and Dr Panda’s Swimming Pool. Children and Media Australia stated that these games contained identifiers that can track children and might transmit your kids’ personal data in an insecure manner.

However, these two apps aren’t the only ones that might not be worth downloading. As per Children and Media Australia, 27 out of the current top 50 children’s Android apps transmit individual’s sensitive data. These apps include the likes of Hello Kitty Nail Salon, Construction Truck Kids Games, and Crossy Roads.

Additionally, 39 out of these 50 apps can use dangerous permissions. Dangerous permissions are things like allowing an app to record audio of you or accessing your precise location. Some apps that ask for dangerous permissions are Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures, Fruit Ninja 2, and Hot Wheels Unlimited

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