New Report from Common Sense Media Assesses Privacy Policies of Hundreds of Education and Consumer Tech Apps and Services

New Report from Common Sense Media Assesses Privacy Policies of Hundreds of Education and Consumer Tech Apps and Services

PR Newswire

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 17, 2021

Analysis of privacy practices over the last five years reveals increasing transparency but troubling growth of tech companies selling data.

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Common Sense Media released a comprehensive report examining the privacy trends and practices of hundreds of popular technology companies and products over the last five years. The "2021 State of Kids' Privacy" report is the culmination of evaluating privacy policy data from 200 of the most popular companies and products aimed at children and students. The report finds some improvements for parents and educators, including increased transparency around privacy policies that provide more information about the products that children and students are using. However, that same transparency also reveals the increase of problematic practices like the sale of personal data.

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Across the pool of companies and apps evaluated in the report, only 26% met the minimum safeguards for all users of a product, earning a "Pass" rating. The remaining 74% scored below the threshold, earning a "Warning" rating, which indicates that these products are putting kids' privacy at risk.

"This report shows that there is a long way to go on protecting kids' privacy, and that continued pressure for increased regulation will improve industry practices," says Jim Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense. "The passage of modern, sensible technology laws like the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 and the California Consumer Privacy Act in 2019 requires companies to update their policies to meet the new standards, but we need a robust and comprehensive federal privacy law and new regulations to better protect kids, and we need the industry to step up and stop placing the burden on parents, educators, and families."

"The state of kids' privacy is far below parents' expectations, and we need the industry to step up and do more to protect kids from the current reality, in which products are actively engaging in more data collection and data monetization than ever before," says Girard Kelly, Privacy Program Director at Common Sense.

The data was collected and analyzed by the Common Sense Privacy Program, a team of attorneys and experts in privacy, law, computer science, education, academia, and public policy. The research team rated products on a 100-point scale across 155 unique evaluation questions.

'2021 State of Kids' Privacy' Report Key Findings:

The findings overwhelmingly support calls for companies to step up and protect their users' privacy rather than placing the burden on parents and teachers to read lengthy and confusing privacy policies for apps and services used by children and students. In the meantime, the report offers guidance for consumers.

Suggestions and tips for parents and educators to navigate privacy policies:

A copy of the full report and findings can be downloaded here.

About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.

Media Contacts
Lorena Taboas, Media Relations Manager
ltaboas@commonsense.org
(786) 521-4215

Lisa Cohen
lisa@lisacohen.org 
(310) 395-2544

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