Apple has updated the guidelines for children’s apps available in its App Store. The new rules, according to MacRumors, ensure that app developers and apps comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The act, which is focused on restricting the collection of personal information from children. The expanded COPPA rules limit a company’s ability to track items such including images, video and audio without receiving express parental consent.
Apple’s new App Store policies state that apps can only ask for a child’s age and nothing more. If the app does collect additional data such as a child’s address, email, videos, photos and other information, it must ensure it complies with applicable COPPA statutes.
Cupertino, MacRumor’s indicates, has also created a Kids Apps section of its App Store in preparation of iOS 7. The move, should help increase the use of iOS devices in school districts. Part of the measure allows children below 13 years of age to create their own iTunes account, something that Apple has previously steered away from. Developers who want their apps to be listed in the Kids App section of the App store must market their apps to children age 11 and younger.
While the FTC explicitly exempted the Apple App Store and Google Play store from complying with COPPA rules, it’s nice to see them implementing this on their own. Apple’s iOS devices are already incredibly popular with children, and many educators have snatched up their own iPhones and iPads for use in the classroom. In fact, the Los Angeles School District recently announced that it will provide all L.A. school children their own free iPad’s by 2014.