This isn’t the first time any kind of report of that sort has come up. In fact, the Judy malware campaign has been one of the scariest Android attacks known so far. Apparently, up to 36.5 million android devices were infected from over 40 apps.
However, this Christmas, the scare is of a different nature. The people are now worried that the categorization of the apps isn’t proper and it is leading to children getting access to improper kind of content.
One very poignant group of over 20 different bodies have put forth a complaint that states that they are unsure “whether Google is misrepresenting to parents that the apps in the Family section of the Play Store are child-appropriate when they are not”.
Who’s leading the complaint for Google play store?
Campaign For A Commercial Free Childhood and Center For Digital Democracy are leading this complaint. They raised the issue and filed an official report to the Federal Trade Commission in the United States of America for this very reason.
According to them, children have a very sharp mind which is continuously developing and thereby extremely hungry for new information. A child’s mind may get attached to different ideologies or stigmas very easily.
This is why one must ensure those commercials, advertisements and other such information isn’t explicitly made available to the children right from the early age. There are certain apps available in the “family” section of the Play store that have content which is apparently explicit in nature.
This is why the major uproar seems to have boiled up. According to many people, Google Play is either misleading people to think the content on the family section of the app store is safe or then simply pushing any kind of material through the app or, its check and verification system is extremely poor and people are exploiting loopholes to push any kind of material on it.
What does TechCrunch Say?
TechCrunch is regarded as one of the most reliable sources of information when it comes to technologies. According to their website, this is their opinion:
“Some apps that Google promotes as family-friendly also deploy unfair and deceptive advertising practices — such as manipulating kids to watch ads or make purchases in order to advance in a game. Our research also revealed that many apps feature inappropriate content for children. Nearly three-quarters of the apps in the Family section transmit device identifiers to third parties.
“There is no way for us to know for sure what the device identifiers are used for. “Since many of the apps send device identifiers to third parties that specialize in monetizing apps and/or engaging in interest-based (behavioral) advertising, it seems unlikely that this information is being used solely to support internal operations. Specific apps were called out for alleged aggressive monetization while others were highlighted for “graphic, sexualized images”.
Google claims to take the whole threat very seriously and ensuring that the content is safe for the kids. But how far this is true remains yet to be explored in the right way.