In a report covering apps that are tracking kids and sending data to companies like Facebook and Google, The Wall Street Journal‘s Joanna Stern says that Apple is planning to limit third-party tracking in apps that are in the Kids section of the App Store.
The site says that a “person familiar with the matter” shared the info on the upcoming feature, though Apple declined to comment.
In fact, Apple will limit third-party tracking in apps in the Kids category of the App Store, according to a person familiar with the matter. Apple declined to comment on this, but a spokeswoman provided a statement:
“For privacy and security reasons, Apple does not see what data users choose to share with developers and we can’t see what developers do on their servers.”
In the piece, Stern mentions an iOS app for kids called Curious World that she found was tracking her son, collecting data that included age, name, and books he tapped on, with that data then sent to Facebook.
She went on to test over 80 apps, many promoted by Apple, and all of them except for one included third-party trackers for marketing, ads, or analytics purposes.
Apps tested (which weren’t kids apps specifically) included an average of four third-party trackers, and some had many more. The app her son was using had a total of seven trackers in it.
There are no controls in iOS for limiting the tracking features that are used by apps for everything from ad targeting to analytics, though users can download VPN apps that block these services. Stern suggests that Apple and Google should cut down on the amount of data that third-party trackers are able to collect and require app developers to provide clearer disclosures.