Google: Stop Sharing Kids’ Private Info

Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

Google is collecting children’s private information and sharing it with other companies for profit. They are doing this with no parental consent, even for kids as young as preschoolers. A recent American Medical Association study found that 2 out of 3 apps in the Google Play store used by kids under 6 shared their private information—including their locationwith advertisers. Even the apps misleadingly labeled “Teacher Approved” have been shown to share kids’ data. This data sharing is under investigation for violations of federal laws meant to keep kids under 13 safe online.  

One of the major problems with 3rd party data sharing is that parents have no way of knowing or controlling which companies see their young kids’ private information or what those companies can do with it. These advertising companies, as well as companies like Facebook and Google, build a profile of a child—where they live, what they’re curious about, and what they worry about. They then use this spying to create “micro-targeted” ads—including ads that undermine their self confidence and exploit their vulnerabilities to sell products, from diet pills to guns to dangerous toys.

Children’s private information shouldn’t be a free-for-all. Google must comply with federal regulations and ensure kids apps used on Google devices aren’t collecting and sharing children’s personal information.

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To: Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google
From: [Your Name]

Mr. Pinchai,

Apps in the Google Play store—67% of them according to a recent American Medical Association study—are sharing kids’ data with 3rd party advertisers. This includes apps used by very young children, as young as 3. Recently, human rights organizations filed an FTC complaint that this practice violated The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Children deserve privacy and parents deserve to be able to know and control which companies are receiving their kids’ data and what those companies are allowed to do with it. We are asking you to ban all kids’ apps used on Google devices from transmitting personal information and data to 3rd party advertisers.