March 27, 2024
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Image courtesy of Pixabay


Apple’s App Store and Google Play list dozen of holiday-themed apps:
children can video chat live with Santa himself, light the menorah,
watch Santa feed live reindeer, track his sleigh on Christmas Eve, or
relay their Christmas wish-lists. With COVID-19 continuing to affect
kids’ access to in-person activities like visits with Santa, apps may
continue to play a large role in the holiday season. Before allowing a
child to download any app, be sure what data it’s collecting and set
permission requirements. 

BBB National Programs’ Cameryn Gonnella, Compliance Manager for the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) recommended these tips to keep in mind this holiday season. 

Know your Privacy Rights 

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) gives
parents control over who collects information from and about their
children. COPPA applies to all mobile apps and websites directed to
kids, even those based at the North Pole. COPPA, updated in 2013, was
designed to ensure that parents can consent to the collection of
personal information from children under the age of 13. Personal
information includes names and addresses, email addresses, birth dates,
photographs, or geolocation information.

Tips for Parents

Before downloading any app, parents should:

  1. Look for a privacy policy and give it a skim:
    Responsible apps directed to children provide a description of the
    service’s information collection practices before a…

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