Last updated: May 19, 2011 - 9:07am
Sen John “Jay” Rockefeller (D-WV) asked Google and Apple whether their mobile applications and those of third parties partners are complying with child Internet privacy laws.
Ahead of a May 19 hearing on mobile device privacy, Sen Rockefeller sent letters to Google, Apple and a trade group representing apps companies probing their privacy practices and asking whether they are seeking permission from parents for any information about youths under 13. Many applications on the iPhone and Android phones appear targeted to children and routinely collect location, addresses, phone numbers and other personally identifying information. If those users are children, the Child Online Privacy Protection Act requires companies to gain parental permission before collecting that data.
In one letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Sen Rockefeller asked: “Very little is publicly known about Apple-approved mobile applications that collect and use information about children in possible violation of” child privacy laws, he wrote. A similar letter was sent to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.
The lawmaker asked whether Apple has produced its own apps that violate COPPA laws and if it requires third-party applications to comply with the law.
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