Mobile Advertising

Pixalate Releases Children’s Privacy Index for Mobile Advertising


New monthly index – launching with August 2022 rankings – helps ad tech industry navigate compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). 12.8% of open programmatic ad spend goes to likely child-directed apps, according to Pixalate’s August 2022 data.

Pixalate, the global market-leading fraud protection, privacy, and compliance analytics platform for Connected TV (CTV) and Mobile Advertising, today released the Children’s Privacy Index for Mobile Advertising, a new addition to the Company’s suite of Indexes, which are used by the global digital advertising industry for quality and compliance benchmarking.

The Children’s Privacy Index for Mobile Advertising addresses compliance vulnerabilities in the ad tech supply chain resulting from Google and Apple’s failure to designate which apps in their stores are child-directed as defined by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Pixalate’s Children’s Privacy Index for Mobile Advertising

Pixalate’s new Children’s Privacy Index for Mobile Advertising provides clarity by benchmarking sellers based on the percentage of ads they sell on apps that are likely child-directed as assessed by Pixalate’s COPPA Methodology.

“Google and Apple fail to require developers to declare if their mobile apps target children under 13, posing a COPPA compliance challenge for the ad industry,” said Jalal Nasir, CEO of Pixalate. “This new monthly index is part of our ongoing open data initiative to help the ad industry comply with COPPA.”

The Index introduces the metric “Child Audience Risk” measuring a seller’s share of impressions against likely child-directed apps as compared to their peers. Each month, ad sellers earn one of four designations  – Low, Medium, High, or Critical. Sellers with the lowest share of impressions on likely child-directed apps compared to their peers are rated as “Low” and those with the highest share of impressions on likely child-directed apps are rated as “Critical.”

Visit Pixalate’s Knowledge Base for more information about the Children’s Privacy Index for Mobile Advertising.

What is COPPA – and why it matters for advertisers

For nearly twenty-five years, the privacy of children in the U.S. has been governed by COPPA and its implementing Rule, which has come under scrutiny as regulators aim to address its application in today’s complex advertising ecosystem.

COPPA bars the collection of data from children under 13 without verified parental consent. Advertisers, ad buyers, and sellers are at risk of collecting childrens’ personal data from apps not clearly labeled as child-directed in the app stores. Google & Apple are well positioned, as the gatekeepers to the app stores, to provide clarity yet they do not require developers of apps targeting children to identify as such nor do they prominently feature that information in the app stores. Doing so would not only help parents protect their children online, but would also enable ad tech companies in complying with COPPA.

Pixalate estimates that there are over 400K likely child-directed apps across the Google & Apple app stores, and advertisers spend 4.1x more per app on child-directed apps compared to general audience apps, according to Pixalate’s COPPA Risk Scorecard Report Q2 2022.

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