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Apple to Limit Third-Party Tracking in Apps for Kids

Apple to Limit Third-Party Tracking in Apps for Kids

Apple is planning to limit third-party tracking in apps that are in the Kids section of their App Store, so says The Wall Street Journal‘s Joanna Stern.

In an article reporting on apps that track kids usage and send data back to companies like Facebook, Google, and others, Stern says a “person familiar with the matter” shared the info with her about the upcoming feature. Apple declined to confirm the upcoming move.

In fact, Apple will limit third-party tracking in apps in the Kids category of the App Store, according to a person familiar with the matter. Apple declined to comment on this, but a spokeswoman provided a statement: 

“For privacy and security reasons, Apple does not see what data users choose to share with developers and we can’t see what developers do on their servers.”

In the article, Stern spotlights “Curious World” a kid-targeted app that she found was tracking and collecting data about her son, including age, name, books that he tapped on, and more sending the info to Facebook.

She then tested over 80 apps (not all of which were kid-targeted apps), and all of them except one included third-party trackers used for ads, marketing, or analytics. The apps on average include four third-party trackers, and some included more than that. “Curious World” included seven trackers.

iOS doesn’t include any controls to limit app tracking features, although users can install VPN apps to block the services.

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