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ICO Probes Companies Including Apple, Google

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ICO Probes Companies Including Apple, Google
  • The Information Commissioner's Office contacted 40 companies in the areas of social media, gaming, video, music streaming, including Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google, Financial Times reports.
  • The U.K. data protection regulator aims to investigate their interactions with children, including location tracking, personalizing content or advertising, and serving up behavioral nudges, like automatically playing videos endangering children online and breaching U.K.'s Children Code. 
  •  "We are focusing our interventions on . . . online services where there is information which indicates potential poor compliance with privacy requirements, and where there is a high risk of potential harm to children," information commissioner Elizabeth Denham said. 
  • Denham said she has contacted them to "enquire about the extent to which the risks associated with processing personal data are a factor in determining the age rating for an app." 
  • The research alleged that app store owners Google and Apple did not do enough to prevent underage users from downloading age-inappropriate apps from their stores.
  • Denham's research identified 12 areas of persistent failure and asked the information commissioner to take action, said Baroness Beeban Kidron, 5Rights' chair and the member of the House of Lords who originally proposed the code. 
  • The research highlighted that app stores have age ratings on individual apps that are inconsistent with an app's age bar and, in some cases, no age ratings at all.
 

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