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GLOBAL SWEEP OF WEBSITES AND MOBILE APPS RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT CHILDREN’S PRIVACY

Along with other privacy enforcement authorities from around the world, the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, as the Data Protection Commissioner, reviewed websites and mobile applications (“apps”) to identify issues relating to children’s privacy.

The project raised concerns about 41% of the 1,494 websites and apps considered, particularly around how much personal information was collected and how it was then shared with third parties.

Results included:

• 67% of sites/apps examined collected children’s’ personal information.

• Only 31% of sites/apps had effective controls in place to limit the collection of personal information from children. Particularly concerning was that many organisations whose sites/apps were clearly popular with children, simply claimed in their privacy notices that they were not intended for children, and then implemented no further controls to protect against the collection of personal data from the children who would inevitably access the app or site.

• Half of sites/apps shared personal information with third parties.

• 22% of sites/apps provided an opportunity for children to give their phone number and 23% of sites/apps allowed them to provide photos or video. The potential sensitivity of this data is clearly a concern.

• 58% of sites/apps offered children the opportunity to be redirected to a different website.

• Only 24% of sites/apps encouraged parental involvement.

• 71% of sites/apps did not offer an accessible means for deleting account information.

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