Apple puts new rules in place for developers doing children’s apps

Concerned parents will love to hear this! Apple published new guidelines for developers doing apps geared to children. This is a much needed system. Ofcom, a UK telecom company, recently said about 90% of parents who own a tablet allow their children to use it or they purchased a tablet for their child to use. 40% of parents say their children use a tablet regularly. These guidelines cover four broad areas: privacy, ads, parent permission to allow or deny some activities, and making sure apps are age appropriate.

Existing laws in many countries, including the United States, dictate what a developer writing an app for children can do as far as collecting data about what a young user does in an app. The COPPA or Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act are a set of specific laws governing what information can be collected from or a about a child on the Internet and what can be done with that information. Apple has only said that any app intended for children under 13 must have a privacy policy of some kind.

The second area, ads, dictated that app developers are not allowed to include advertisements based on the choices a child makes in the app. Any ads displayed must be kid friendly. The parental permission guideline says that any child under 13 has to get permission to be able to purchase anything or follow link that allow the child to leave the app.

The last area puts a structure in place for a new Kids section of the Apple App store. The Kid’s are will have apps for kids 5 and under, six years old to eight years old and ages nine to eleven. Before this new Kids area, kids and parents had to look in the Books, Education and Entertainment categories to find apps.

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