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Apple updates App Review Guidelines with focus on apps for children

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ahead of its push for iPads in education initiative, Apple has updated the App Review Guidelines document, adding new sections and regulations specifically targeting child safety.

iBooks


Among the changes to Apple's App Review Guidelines, first reported by MacRumors, is a new rule pertaining to the U.S. government's expansion of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

The federal statute dictates what information websites and similar entities can collect about a child under the age of 13 with consent from a parent or guardian. Apple's regulations bring the App Review Guidelines up to date by disallowing developers to harvest photos, video or audio of an underage user.

17.4 Apps that collect, transmit, or have the capability to share personal information (e.g. name, address, email, location, photos, videos, drawings, persistent identifiers, the ability to chat, or other personal data) from a minor must comply with applicable children's privacy statutes.


A completely new section describes limitations in respect to apps made specifically for young children. Developers cannot include targeted ads and must ask for permission from parents before linking out of the app.

Finally, the new rules add limitations to gambling apps, especially those that offer in-app purchasing for game credits or currency.

The additions and adjustments comes ahead of Apple's iPad in education push, which recently saw the company open up iTunes accounts to children under 13 years old. Previously, iTunes restricted pre-teens from holding personal accounts.
post #2 of 9
Unsurprising, none of these changes include "Stop blatantly ripping off children through in-app purchases."
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

Unsurprising, none of these changes include "Stop blatantly ripping off children through in-app purchases."

Shouldn't parent's take care of that by ensuring the itunes password remains a secret to them alone ?

post #4 of 9
I agree that parents should take better care when handling passwords, but I also think that there should be more regulation on the ability to make in app purchases whether this could be switched off on set up of the app or through settings.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post

Shouldn't parent's take care of that by ensuring the itunes password remains a secret to them alone ?


Because somewhere out there, there is a child that needs to spend $99 on a wheelbarrow of huckleberries.

post #6 of 9

If they could make (a section of) the App Store totally safe for kids, they could get a monopoly in the education market. It's something that a non-curated app store just can't match. It's a market that plays to Apple's strengths.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post

Shouldn't parent's take care of that by ensuring the itunes password remains a secret to them alone ?

 

Yes...I set my children's devices to require the password immediately for anything.  If we install 5 apps, it requires the password 5 times in a row.  It is easy to lock down the device.  Who hands the keys of a new BMW to an 8 year old??

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

Unsurprising, none of these changes include "Stop blatantly ripping off children through in-app purchases."

They don't list all the restrictions. So there could be something about IAP.

I still don't particularly like this notion of allowing kids only if a school is involved. This should be something open to all kids, linked to a parent. With parental controls at the account level. That way parents can allow the kids to have the password if they need it say to download something for school but block off IAP purchases, leaving reviews, restrict age ratings. No matter what device the kids might be on

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

Unsurprising, none of these changes include "Stop blatantly ripping off children through in-app purchases."

Yeah, that needs to be sorted out and not just for kids:

http://www.businessinsider.com/spent-127-playing-candy-crush-saga-2013-7

I don't know why they don't put a cap on every app at $20-30 and force users to manually lift the restriction. If anyone goes above the limit voluntarily, that's their choice. There can be another cap at $100. It would put an end to kids generating $1000+ IAP fees once and for all.

This would be an area where Apple's control would be more appealing to parents because I doubt it's a measure Google would implement on their store.
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