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A new survey commissioned by building society Nationwide revealed that children spend on average 2 hours a day being on their phone, with 12% of children spending more than 4 hours a day using their devices. The poll, which questioned 2000 parents, a...

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES) released a report on the effects of radiofrequency exposure on children’s health. The report concludes that radiofrequency exposure h...

A federal judge ruled earlier this week that Amazon illegally charged parents for children's in-app purchases between 2011 and 2014 on its app store for Kindle and Android devices. With the ruling, the Court sided with the Federal Trade Commission (...

On 17 December, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced two COPPA settlements against operators of child-directed mobile apps available for download in major app stores. These are the first cases involving the collection of persis...

The results of a joint research project which looked at 1,494 websites and apps targeted at or popular with children were released earlier this month and highlight poor privacy practices. The monitoring exercise, conducted last May by the ...

According to a new survey from Miner & Co. Studio, 57% of children aged 2 to 12 years old now prefer to watch video on a handheld device rather than on TV. Mobile devices are so popular with kids that nearly half of the 800 parents living i...

In their study entitled “First Exposure and Use of Mobile Media in Young Children”, researchers from the Philadelphia’s Einstein Medical Centre found that 36% of children have “touched or scrolled” the screen of a mobile...

On 14 April, Google announced the launch of a new programme called "Designed for Families," which will review apps and will label eligible ones on Google Play as family friendly. One of the conditions to earn the designation is to be free from intere...

Food and beverage companies continue promoting “unhealthy” food and beverage products to children and adolescents on digital media, effectively circumventing industry self-regulatory standards, a new academic paper published in the Health...

Earlier this year, iTunes, Google, Amazon, Gameloft signed an agreement with the competition authority Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) to revise their policies on free applications downloaded from th...

According to news reports, Google intends to announce on 23 February the launch of a new application called Youtube Kids. The child-friendly designed app will be separate from the YouTube mobile app and will most likely be available for free. Google ...

On 22 January, the BioMed Central released a study entitled “Virtually Impossible: limiting Australian children and adolescents daily screen-based media use”.  The research conducted by scholars from the University of Western Austral...

On 7 January 2015, Republican Senator David Sater proposed a bill requiring the Department of Public Safety to establish the Missouri Child Protection Registry. This registry will include a secure list of contact points belonging or accessible to chi...

According to PrivacyGrade.org, a project run by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania), apps continue collecting personal data from children despite the solid legislative framework in place. Interestingly, their research rev...

On 3 December, the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) released its 2013 annual report on Compliance and Progress. The 18 companies that participate in the advertising self-regulatory programme are “virtu...

On 16 September, online customer-review service Yelp announced having agreed to pay $450,000 to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to settle charges that the company accepted registration to its services from children under 13 through its apps. Acco...

In a position paper released in May, BEUC - the umbrella body for EU member states' national consumer groups - states that ongoing talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) should be used to question uneve...

According to news reports, the FTC has begun investigating tech companies suspected of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The COPPA law was revised last year and entered into force on 1 January 2014, but the FTC ga...

On 15 January, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Apple has agreed to pay at least $32.5 million in refund to parents whose children were able to make purchases in Apple's App Store without the informed consent of their parents. The F...

Unicef has released draft Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection providing advice on how industry can work to help ensure children’s safety when using the internet on all platforms. The draft guidelines – which call for limiti...

On 28 October, Common Sense Media released "Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in America 2013," the second edition of a national survey of children's media use in the United States. Most notable among the findings is the dramatic increase in childr...

The rapidly growing online and app-based games industry should not be pressuring children to make in-game purchases, according to draft principles published for consultation on 26 September by the OFT. The eight draft principles state that consumers...

Last week, Apple released updated guidelines for developers which ban targeted advertising in children’s apps and bring its policies in line with the new Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by disallowing d...

A poll by Mobile Phone Checker - a mobile phone price comparison website - of 1,221 parents of children aged 15 and under has found that the average age to own a mobile phone is ‘7.5 years old’, six years younger than a decade ago. Other...

On 7 August, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (“CCFC”) requested the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against Fisher-Price and software developer Open Solutions for deceptively marketing their mobile applications ...

Premium-rate telephone watchdog PhonepayPlus has fined an Australian company £250k for a 'misleading' app promising to boost smartphone battery life, which was advertised within other developers' children's apps. The mobile app company, Comman...

Research by British mobile phone insurance website mobileinsurance.co.uk has revealed that 58% of parents of children under 11 years old who own a mobile phone do not monitor their children’s phone activity, with above a quarter justifying the ...

On 18 June, WHO Europe released a report entitled the “Marketing of foods high in fat, salt and sugar to children: update 2012–2013”, in which it urges policy-makers to tighten restrictions on the marketing of food and beverages hig...

In a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman on 15 April, the Application Developers Alliance says developers and publishers need more time to adapt to the revised Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), scheduled to come...

On 12 April, UK’s consumer and competition authority, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), launched an investigation into whether children are being unfairly pressured or encouraged to pay for additional content in 'free' web and app-based games, ...

An Opinion on apps available for smart mobile devices released in March 2013 by the Article 29 Working Party, a European advisory body on data protection and privacy, says that data controllers should not process children's data for behavioural adver...

On 1 February, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced an agreement to a $800,000 settlement with Path Inc., a maker of a popular social networking app, over charges that it breached the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rul...

On 17 December, nonprofit group the Center for Digital Democracy filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), claiming a SpongeBob app violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting chil...

On 10 December, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the launch of a non-public investigation to determine whether certain entities in the mobile app marketplace are violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) or enga...

“Advergames: It's No Child's Play”, a review of research released on 10 December by the Family and Parenting Institute, a British charity organisation, slams advertisers for using legal loopholes to target under 16s. It calls on the gover...

A report presented on 29 October during the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco by the Yale Rudd Center for food policy and obesity found broad support among parents for limiting unhealthy food marketing to...

On 9 October, the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education adopted an own-initiative report on "Protecting children in the digital world" which calls for improved controls over children’s privacy when using mobile phones, ...

On 12 September, Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.) released a proposal which would require mobile phone companies to disclose the presence of a monitoring software on a phone, the type and use of information collected, whom the information is transm...

A report handed to Swedish Consumer Minister Birgitta Ohlsson on 12 September investigating mobile applications (apps) designed for children found that offers of “In-App purchases” (purchases typically giving access to special app content...

On 5 September, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a set of basic guidelines to help mobile application (“apps”) developers comply with the relevant legislation. The guide, entitled “Marketing Your Mobile App: Get It Right...

On 27 June, a mobile applications developer sued by the State of New Jersey agreed to stop collecting and transmitting all children’s data who play its popular educational games and to destroy what it has already collected. New Jersey's attorn...

A report released on 26 June by family advocacy center Common Sense Media entitled “Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives” found that nine out of ten teenagers in the US have used social media and that while the ma...

On 9 June, the Norwegian Ministry of Health published a consultation on a draft regulation to ban the marketing of “unhealthy” food and beverages to children under 18 with immediate effect. Energy-dense food and beverages are defined as:...

A survey conducted by US market research firm NPD Group entitled: “Kids and Apps: A New Era of Play” suggests that 42% of children in the US aged 2 to 14 have access to applications on mobile devices (apps), with 88% of those apps being a...

A survey from the Irish internet watchdog Hotline.ie released on 13 March found that only 37% of parents have installed filtering software on their home computers, allowing them to block their children’s access to certain websites. In February...

On 5 March, Labour Shadow Minister for public health Diane Abbott called for a “junk food” advertising ban on television, internet, on mobile phones, packaging and in‐store. During a speech she gave at the British Institute for Public ...

In a report entitled “Mobile Apps for Kids: Current Privacy Disclosures are Disappointing” released on 16 February, the Federal Trade Commission highlights the lack of information available to parents prior to downloading mobile applicati...

On 2 February, PhonepayPlus, the UK regulator for phone-paid services*, fined company Captive Interactive Systems Limited £20,000 after determining that it was in “serious” breach of its Code of Practice around the promotion of prem...

On 13 December, the Commission Nationale Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), the French data protection authority, released the results of a survey on the use of smartphones by consumers aged 15 and older. 71% of respondents do not read the c...

An industry-funded report entitled: “Children’s use of mobile phones — An international comparison 2011” released in November surveyed mobile phone use of eight to 18 year old children, comparing four geographically widespread...

A study entitled: “Association between food marketing exposure and adolescents’ food choices and eating behaviors” to be published in the February 2012 edition of the Journal Appetite found that adolescents watching commercial TV ov...

In a new report published on 3 November looking at the UK social network market size, research firm Mintel found that half of all children aged 7-12 visit social networking websites and that nearly 1 million of children go on Facebook ‘every da...

On 31 October, the Yale Rudd Center for Food and Obesity Policy published a new edition of their Food Advertising to Children and Teens Score series (f.a.c.t.s.) entitled “Evaluating sugary nutrition and marketing to youth”. The authors f...

Younger children still watch a lot of television, but mobile devices and the internet have taken over TV as adolescents’ favourite media, according to two reports published on 25 October in the US (by nonprofit organisation Common Sense Media) ...

On 19 October, the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) announced that consumer groups* have filed a complaint  with the Federal Trade Commission against PepsiCo/Frito-Lays urging it to take action and prevent future similar deceptive advertising ...

NGO Children's Food Campaign (CFC) claims in a report published on 7 September that the Government's Public Health Responsibility Deal launched in March 2011 is ineffective and largely ignored by many big food companies. The report, entitled The Irr...

On 15 August, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its first settlement against a mobile application (app) developer, fining the company for failing to obtain parental consent before collecting and processing personal information from thou...

On 4 July 2011, a survey commissioned by the French data protection authority (CNIL), the family organisation UNAF, and children’s protection group Action innocence found that nearly 20% of children under 13 are registered to a social network, ...

On 15 June, Democrat Senators Al Franken and Richard Blumenthal introduced the Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 (the “Act”), to regulate the collection and processing of location data on smartphones. The Act suggests prohibiting th...

On 6 May, Rep. Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican published a “discussion draft” laying down the main points of a forthcoming proposal for a “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011″ whic...

A report published in April by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines the research published between January 2008 and February 2011 on food and beverage marketing to children and adolescents. It aims to assess, among other things, industry self-...

On 11 April, the UK Department of Education published the results of a survey revealing that direct advertising through mobile phones was the marketing tool that the highest proportion of parents — 35% — believed was wrong. This was follo...




Today AEf is publishing a comprehensive literature review on digital marketing communications and children, prepared by Dr Barbie Clarke, of Family Kids and Youth and Cambridge University. The first of its kind, this literature review sheds light on ...




We all know that kids love apps. From a parent's perspective, apps can provide a much more interactive, and educational experience than TV. But with over one million apps in the stores, it can be difficult to find just the right app for your kids...

One of the big challenges for children’s app developers is the reluctance of many parents to pay upfront for apps, even if they distrust in-app purchases. Could advertising be the answer? Ads as the funding source for children’s media is...

Britain's technology companies are struggling to attract a new generation of mobile-savvy children who are using tablets and their parents' smartphones to log on to "free" games. Parents fear this shift could lead to large bills f...

Aiming to provide developers with an alternative to in-app purchases on iOS, Android and web-apps. UK-based startup SuperAwesome has formally unveiled its Kids Mobile Network mobile ad network for children's apps and mobile ...

"Make your privacy policy readable. Avoid collecting data that you don’t need for the app to function normally. Alert users with “enhanced measures” if third parties are collecting information, including for advertising. These are&...

Dan Russell-Pinson has designed some of the top educational children’s apps for the iPhone and iPad. Monster Physics is a game that lets kids build virtual contraptions, operated by a customizable furry monster, to complete missions — ...

The Federal Trade Commission's proposed revisions of the rules that implement the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is well-meaning and well-timed. It's well-meaning in that the FTC truly does care about the privacy and safet...

Dan Russell-Pinson has designed some of the top educational children’s apps for the iPhone and iPad. Monster Physics is a game that lets kids build virtual contraptions, operated by a customizable furry monster, to complete missions — cl...

A year on from the first high-profile controversy around children and in-app purchases (IAP) in apps – the Smurfs' Village game on iOS – some elements of the apps industry still haven't learned the lessons. That game's developer has just...

For a Web company, it's best to just not deal with kids. They don't have much money -- no credit card accounts, as a rule -- and they're a toxic mess when it comes to regulations. Who wants to deal with changing COPPA regulations and the ex...

Celina McPhail's mom wouldn't let her have a Facebook account. The 12-year-old is on Instagram instead. Her mother, Maria McPhail, agreed to let her download the app onto her iPod Touch, because she thought she was fostering an interest in photograp...