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Cynthia Chassigneux

16 décembre 2012

FTC (et autres): applications mobiles et jeunes

Il y a quelques mois la Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a publié une étude dans laquelle elle invitait les développeurs d'applications mobiles à revoir la présentation et le contenu de l'information transmise aux jeunes, mais aussi à leurs parents afin que celle-ci soit plus accessible (billet). Le 10 décembre dernier, la FTC rendait publique les conclusions de sa nouvelle étude sur cette même problématique. 

Dans cette nouvelle étude intitulée Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade, la FTC constate que "parents still are not given basic information about the privacy practices and interactive features of mobile apps aimed at kids ... many of the apps shared certain information - such as device ID, geolocation, or phone number - with third parties without disclosing that fact to parents" ... a number of apps contained intercative features - such as advertising, the ability to make in-app purchase, and links to social media - without disclosing these features to parents prior to download". (Source: FTC Staff Report, p. 4)

La FTC en arrive alors à la conclusion que: 
"Since FTC staff conducted its first kids’ app survey, many stakeholders have called for industry to increase transparency in the mobile marketplace, and many initiatives have been launched in pursuit of that goal. Despite these efforts, staff found little or no improvement in the disclosures made and, worse, a significant discrepancy between the privacy disclosures and the actual practices of the surveyed apps. Without adequate and accurate information about apps they download for their kids, parents cannot make informed choices about their children’s privacy and exposure to social networks and other interactive features.
FTC staff has initiated a number of investigations to address the gaps between company practices and disclosures. These discrepancies could constitute violations of COPPA or the FTC Act’s prohibition against unfair or deceptive practices. However, enforcement actions alone, while vitally important, are not enough to ensure that the privacy of consumers and their children are protected adequately. Staff calls on everyone involved in the mobile app marketplace – app stores, app developers, and third-parties that interact with the apps – to follow the three key principles laid out in the FTC’s Privacy Report: (1) adopting a “privacy- by-design” approach to minimize risks to personal information; (2) providing consumers with simpler and more streamlined choices about relevant data practices; and (3) providing consumers with greater transparency about how data is collected, used, and shared. Of greatest relevance to the findings in this report, industry participants must work together to develop accurate disclosures regarding what data is collected through kids’ apps, how it will be used, who it will be shared with, and whether the apps contain interactive features such as advertising, the ability to make in-app purchases, and links to social media." 
(Source: FTC Staff Report, p. 21)

Cette étude de la FTC fait écho à celle menée par Pew Internet & American Life Project selon laquelle "most parents of teenagers are concerned about what their teenage children do online and how their behavior could be monitored by others. Some parents are taking steps to observe, discuss, and check up on their children's digital footprints" ... et cette étude menée auprès de 802 parents et jeunes démontre que :
"- 81% of parents of online teens say they are concerned about how much information advertisers can learn about their child’s online behavior, with some 46% being “very” concerned.
- 72% of parents of online teens are concerned about how their child interacts online with people they do not know, with some 53% of parents being “very” concerned.
- 69% of parents of online teens are concerned about how their child’s online activity might affect their future academic or employment opportunities, with some 44% being “very” concerned about that. 
- 69% of parents of online teens are concerned about how their child manages his or her reputation online, with some 49% being “very” concerned about that." 
(Source: Pew Internet, p. 2)
Cette étude de la FTC fait également écho au rapport du Défenseur des droits intitulé Enfants et écrans: grandir dans le monde numérique proposant notamment de "faire reconnaître aux mineurs le droit à une protection renforcée de leur vie privée (droit à l'oubli, droit au déréférencement)" (p. 8).


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