Google deletes three kids apps from Play Store, uninstall them right now
These three apps that have been removed from the Google Play Store have more than 20 million downloads between them. Uninstall them right away if you have on your devices.
Google has now pulled off three apps Princess Salon, Number Coloring and Cats & Cosplay from the Play Store, and they have about 20 million downloads.
TechCrunch reports that researchers at the International Digital Accountability Council (IDAC), a nonprofit watchdog from Boston, discovered that three popular and "seemingly innocent-looking apps aimed at younger users" have recently found violating Google's data collection policies and potentially accessing users' Android ID and AAID (Android Advertising ID) numbers, with data leakage connected to the apps being built using SDKs from Unity, Umeng and Appodeal.
All three apps have been removed from the play store, and Google confirmed to TechCrunch that these apps were pulled off after IDAC brought their violations to notice that focus to a broader concern that involves the approach of the three app publishers to following data protection policies. "The practices we observed in our research raised serious concerns about data practices within these apps," said IDAC president Quentin Palfrey pointed out.
This incident is getting limelight at a time when Google is facing one of the largest antitrust cases in US history and have been questioned about the "size of its operation". Google is prosecuted by the US Department of Justice and 11 states and has been suspecting of "monopolistic and anticompetitive behaviour in search and search advertising".
These incidents also serve as a reminder of "the challenges of proactively policing individual violations on such a scale, and that those challenges can land in a particularly risky area: how minors use apps".
TechCrunch says, the violation in the case of these three apps is complicated but an example of "one of the ways that users can unknowingly be tracked through apps".