App Store Child Safety: Apple isn’t Doing Enough, Watchdog Says
According to a non-profit watchdog group, Apple is not doing nearly enough to prevent children from downloading pornographic material through the App Store, which is available for free. According to the allegations, Apple has also refused to take any responsibility for the security flaws.
Using the Apple App Store is not recommended for children under the age of 13.
As reported by Apple Insider, the Campaign for Accountability, or CFA, is a non-profit organization that has raised concerns about Apple deleting App Store games on orders from the Chinese government.
Now, the organization claims that the shop is not doing enough to safeguard minors from adult material. The Internet Transparency Project, or TPP, of the organization, asserts that the tech giant fails to implement even the most basic kid protection precautions when it comes to adult content, despite repeated requests.
Michelle Kuppersmith, the executive director of the Center for American Progress, said in a statement that Apple only pretends to have tight control over App Store developers and to safeguard consumers from potentially dangerous material. Despite this, the business has not even implemented the most basic of measures to keep children secure.
The organization claims to have established a test account in which it claimed to be a 14-year-old user and then attempted to download a variety of items, including dating applications, gambling, and pornographic material.
A pop-up window requesting the user to confirm that they are 17 years old or older has shown while attempting to download these applications from the Google Play Store.
According to The Guardian, if the test user claimed to be above the age of consent, the software would proceed with the download without doing any more checks.
Tinder said in April that Google Play and Apple’s App Store are the ones who should be held accountable for stopping minors from installing dating applications.
CFA also said that its test Apple ID was configured for a 14-year-old and that applications should be made aware of this configuration. Furthermore, if Apple is already aware of the fact that a user is a child, the user should not be allowed to download adult applications in the first place, according to Kuppersmith.
Kuppersmith said that the business has decided to protect children from app developers rather than app developers protecting children.
However, although the business has shown a reluctance to accept responsibility, it has shown no reluctance to take a share of the revenues generated by age-inappropriate downloads.
Furthermore, it is unclear if the researchers tested the App Store with the hard limits on age-restricted material enabled or disabled. By default, the option is configured to allow for the download of any and all applications.
From inside the Screen Time settings, parents may impose a hard ban on age-inappropriate applications, but this must be done by hand.
Report of the Watchdog
The news on the App Store comes after Apple revealed that it is working on CSAM, a technology that would analyze photographs saved on iCloud accounts to ensure that there are no child pornography images stored there.
Approximately 75 adult-oriented applications were downloaded from the App Store, according to the group’s final assessment. Many of the 75 applications had their own age verification systems in place, however, they were insufficient in their verification of user age.
Many gambling applications, according to the CFA, were comprehensive, with some of them demanding the scanning of government-issued identification. The only other explicit material has just age restriction warnings on it, not anything else.
Out of the 75 applications examined, 37 encourage users to create an account; nevertheless, the organization claims that the apps accept the Apple ID even if the user’s age plainly indicates that he or she is under the age of fourteen (14 years).
While some applications, such as the instant messaging service Yubo, are advertised on the App Store as being suitable for users who are 17 years old and older, they enable users as young as 13 to access them inside the app.
In addition, 31 of the tested applications allowed users to join up using their Facebook accounts, and Facebook denied the registration when it discovered that the Apple ID belonged to a 14-year-old child.
The Campaign for Accountability and its report have received no response from Apple.