Parent App Developers Announce New Privacy Disclosures for Users

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Parent app developers from the Moms With Apps network respond to the FTC Report on Mobile Apps for Kids with privacy icons to notify consumers about app features.

In response to the Federal Trade Commission’s Report about the lack of privacy disclosures on mobile apps for kids, parent app developers from Moms With Apps created a new, consumer-friendly mobile app icon to be featured on developer websites and application marketplaces.

This new icon covers five areas highlighted by the FTC: data collection and sharing, advertising, in app purchases, social network integration, and external links. The icons are gray, with a color border to indicate those aspects which are present within the app. The icon can be integrated into the preview screenshots displayed on the app store, or on developer websites in their privacy policies.

”Parent app developers have a unique perspective,” said Lorraine Akemann, founder of Moms With Apps, a collaborative group of family-friendly developers. “They are both consumers and content creators in this emerging digital marketplace. They are conscientious about making products that resonate with customers, because they are customers themselves.”

The graphic being used by these and other app developers was developed by Tore Hansen of Operatio Apps, who has a series of educational apps on the iTunes and Mac app stores. He designed the graphic to be standardized across different apps, yet customizable enough to show individual feature designations and developer identification. The icon is available for developers to download for free from the Operatio Apps website: http://www.operatioapps.com/parental-notification-badge/.

The graphic was also adopted by Marcel Widarto of Sight Words Hangman, Kristin Heitman of My First App Vehicles, George Karavias of Word Book and Puzzle Box HD, among others. At a glance, the icon gives consumers information about whether dynamic features are present inside the app, so parents can make informed decisions prior to downloading the app.

Initial reactions to the icon and to displaying disclosures have been positive from both parents and developers.

Kate Stinnett, mom: “This is great news! Hoping others will follow this lead. This icon will help me make educated choices when purchasing apps in the future.”

Matt Kicinsky, dad who developed the Alien Buddies app: “We added privacy statements to our iTunes app descriptions today. It’s not just the FTC, we’re parents too, and we get it.”

Kellie Worrell, a teacher and app developer of BrainStars: “This provides a much needed method for parents and educators to be able to assess potential risks of each app. As a proponent of technology integration in the classroom, I can attest to how vital it is that developers create apps with the safety of their young users in mind. This icon will help to standardize that information and bring it to the forefront of download decisions by app consumers.”

About Moms With Apps

Moms With Apps is an online community of developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families. One purpose of the Moms With Apps network is to encourage families to think carefully about how they use technology in the home, and to introduce families to the variety of family-friendly apps in their developer network. Moms With Apps can be found online at http://momswithapps.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Lorraine Akemann
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