News

Consumer groups claim that Google misleads children in FTC complaint

The complaint Wednesday claiming Google’s Play store is harmful to children by allowing of apps that break privacy laws, contain adult content or include manipulative advertising.

A group of consumer advocacy, privacy, and the public health groups urged U.S. regulators to measure whether or not children are endangered by misleading apps in the Google Play app store for smartphones with the Android operating system.

The complaint Wednesday claiming Google’s Play store is harmful to children by allowing of apps that break privacy laws, contain adult content or include manipulative advertising.

The call for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the action is led by two groups, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy, both of which previously attacked Google’s approach of children. Twenty other groups joined in the last complaint.

Google has issued a statement emphasizing its commitment to the protection of children while they are online — one of the reasons why the company says that the prohibited advertising aimed at children under the age of 13.

SHOCKING SCALE OF RUSSIA ‘ S UNIQUE SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN UNVEILED

“We take these issues very seriously and continue to work hard to remove any content that is incorrectly focused on the children of our platform,” Google said.

More than 2 billion devices worldwide are powered by Google software, with a significant number of the data that are used by minors. The complaint focuses on the alleged misconduct under U.S. law and regulations.

The attempt to pressure the FTC to open an investigation comes amid an intensification of resistance against Google, Facebook and other companies that the majority of their money using their free services to track people’s interests and whereabouts, and then mining that information to sell ads aimed at them.

Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island who has been critical of Google, issued a statement supporting the groups looking for a FTC investigation, such as Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico.

FACEBOOK GAVE TECH COMPANIES ‘INTRUSIVE’ ACCESS TO USERS ‘ PRIVATE MESSAGES AND DATA, DOCUMENTS REVEAL

“It is past time for the Federal Trade Commission to protect the privacy of children,” Udall said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.

Although the FTC generally does not respond to the question or to investigate issues raised in the complaints, it has penalized Google for what it considered to be the exploitation of children in the past.

In 2014, it reached a settlement with Google to refund $19 million to allow apps distributed by the store to charge children to make purchases without the parents consent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular