Google has removed three children apps From Play Store for reportedly violating Its Data Collection Policies. The apps are Princess Salon, Number Colouring, and Cats & Cosplay.
TechCrunch reports that the company took action after researchers at the International Digital Accountability Council (IDAC), found and reported the apps in violation of Google’s data collection policies.
According to the non-profit, the apps are potentially accessing users’ Android ID and AAID (Android Advertising ID) numbers. IDAC adds that Software Development Kits (SDKs) from Unity, Umeng, and Appodeal within the apps were also an issue.
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It also says that certain versions of the three SDKs used in the apps were not in compliance with broader Google Play policies around data collection. “IDAC’s tests highlighted that certain versions of Unity’s SDK were collecting both the user’s AAID and Android ID simultaneously, which may have allowed Unity to bypass privacy controls and track users over time and across devices,” the non-profit announced.
Princess Salon, Number Colouring, and Cats & Cosplay have now been removed from the Google play store. Three of them reportedly have about 20 million downloads between them.
Google also confirmed its actions after IDAC brought the violations to its attention in a statement to TechCrunch. “We can confirm that the apps referenced in the report were removed. Whenever we find an app that violates our policies, we take action,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
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