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.
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.
Lorena Taboas, Media Relations Manager