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This new App a day should keep the ‘social media doctor’ at bay

August 19, 2013
APP-LYING SENSIBLE PRINCIPLES:  New review guidelines by Apple for children

APP-LYING SENSIBLE PRINCIPLES: New review guidelines by Apple for children

TECHNOLOGY giant Apple is adopting tighter controls to the new launching kids’ category on its universally popular App Store as an Ofcom report reveals 91 per cent of UK parents with a tablet say their children use it or have one of their own – with nearly half admitting their off-springs use a tablet every day.

Some serious damage has already been done by a number of children running up huge bills for their parents after buying large quantities of digital goods through apps.

And some children were considered too young to understand what they had done and, as a result, Apple refunded parents sums running into thousands of pounds.

The new category was originally announced in June at the company’s World Wide Developers’ Conference, and is set to focus on categories for children under five, six to eight years old years old and nine to 11. It will give a home for a wide range of apps from companies as diverse as Disney and Duck Duck Moose.

Apple is targetting four key areas in readiness for the iOS 7 launch:

  • Apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 must include a privacy policy
  • Apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 may not include behavioural advertising (e.g. the advertiser may not serve ads based on the user’s activity within the App), and any contextual ads presented in the App must be appropriate for kids
  • Apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 must get parental permission or use a parental gate before allowing the user to link out of the app or engage in commerce
  • Apps in the kids’ category must be made specifically for kids ages 5 and under, ages six to eight, or ages nine to 11.

Lots of children now have access to devices such as smartphones and tablets, and they are often just a click away from inappropriate or chargeable content. It looks like parent power has put the appropriate pressure on Apple with these new App Store Review Guidelines.

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