Mobile Apps

Pixalate releases Children’s Privacy Index for August 2022


Pixalate publishes list of top 100 likely child-directed apps across the Google & Apple mobile app stores revealing which apps transmit location information with advertisers and data brokers and request permission to access users’ personal data.

Pixalate, the global market-leading fraud protection, privacy, and compliance analytics platform for Connected TV (CTV) and Mobile Advertising, today released its Children’s Privacy Index for August 2022, identifying the 100 most popular likely child-directed mobile apps globally across the Google Play and Apple App stores.

Pixalate’s Children’s Privacy Index is the first publicly available index designed to guard children’s online privacy and encourage compliance with regulations like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The index identifies the most popular likely child-directed apps and provides insight on whether they are transmitting personal information such as geolocation and residential IP with advertisers and/or data brokers.

“Children’s privacy compliance risks across mobile apps can result in expensive consequences for advertisers,” said Allison Lefrak, Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Ads Fraud and COPPA. “Pixalate is releasing the Children’s Privacy Index as a free resource to assist not only the ad tech industry but also children’s privacy advocates, researchers, parents and regulators to help them understand the risks in the broader ad ecosystem.”

How Pixalate leverages a blend of AI and human review to assess children’s online privacy compliance risk

Pixalate’s industry-first COPPA Compliance Technology leverages AI to assess the likely child-directedness of 9.4MM+ mobile apps (active and delisted) from the Google Play & Apple App stores. The AI-technology assesses each mobile app as likely to be child-directed or general audience under COPPA based on a variety of factors such as an app’s category, content rating, child-targeted keywords in the description, and more.

Pixalate also deploys a manual review process to reinforce the automated assessment. Pixalate’s Trust and Safety Advisory Board, helmed by a former FTC enforcer, Allison Lefrak, and composed of qualified educators, manually reviews apps through the lens of the COPPA Rule on an ongoing basis. Each mobile app is also assessed for potential COPPA violation risk based on a variety of the app’s privacy and data collection factors. Read more about Pixalate’s COPPA Methodology here.

Pixalate’s Children’s Privacy Index enables the public to learn more about the most popular likely child-directed apps’ potential privacy risks:

  • Whether an app requests permissions to access personal information
  • Whether an app shares personal information such as location data with advertisers and/or data brokers (in the bid stream)
  • Whether or not the app has a detected privacy policy
  • Top 100 rankings are sortable by the app’s country of registration
  • Updated Monthly to evaluate everchanging popular apps’ COPPA factors

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