Behind the cute characters, apps used by children can not only have the possibility of exposing them to age-inappropriate content or excessive in-app promotions, but may also make a large amount
of their personal information and online behaviour accessible to third party online marketing and advertising industry. Such practices are not unique to children’s apps, but young children are probably less capable of resisting the resulting personalised advertisements and game promotions.
Currently there are no effective ways to stop these tracking behaviours on mobile devices. However, there are things that parents/families can do by making more informed choices of apps.
In 2017, PwC released the ground-breaking Kids Digital Media Report, which estimated that the value of the global kids digital advertising market would hit $1.2bn by 2021. They have just released their latest report with updated data and trends. It’s a compelling read.
A staggering 170,000 children go online for the first time every day, driving considerable disruption across the media landscape. As children become a larger percentage of the daily internet audience, laws to protect them are expected to be passed with greater urgency. These increasing regulatory requirements support a shift in spend towards dedicated kidtech players, who provide privacy-centric solutions to the industry.
Read more at: https://www.superawesome.com/2019/06/11/pwc-kids-digital-media-report-2019-estimates-global-kids-digital-advertising-market-will-be-worth-1-7bn-by-2021/
In the children’s gaming app Doctor Kids, a popular purchase in the Google and Amazon app stores, kids get to play doctor in a children’s hospital. They clean patients’ teeth as a dentist, straighten crooked bones inside an X-ray scan, and play optometrist by helping kids with blurry vision find the right prescription glasses, all against a backdrop of brightly colored characters and a twinkling soundtrack.
Until suddenly, the game is interrupted. A bubble pops up with a new mini game idea, and when a child clicks on the bubble, they are invited to purchase it for $1.99, or unlock all new games for $3.99. There’s a red X button to cancel the pop-up, but if the child clicks on it, the character on the screen shakes its head, looks sad, and even begins to cry.
Read more at: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/10/30/18044678/kids-apps-gaming-manipulative-ads-ftc