FTC probes firms in mobile app space on childrens' privacy

WASHINGTON Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:50am EST

WASHINGTON Dec 10 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are investigating a number of companies in the mobile app marketplace for potentially violating rules protecting children's privacy or requiring accurate disclosures about data collection, the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday.

The FTC did a survey of hundreds of mobile apps designed for children and found that most failed to provide information to parents about what data were collected.

Many also shared information like the device ID, location and phone number without telling parents, the FTC said.

The FTC enforces the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires companies to take steps to disclose privacy policies to parents when distributing apps targeted at children.