A recent study by cybersecurity company Surfshark has revealed that the majority of the studied mobile gaming apps used by children share data with third-parties.
“Gaming is an important part of daily life for many people, including children,” says Agneska Sablovskaja, data researcher at Surfshark. “It is a place of self-expression and socialising. However, it’s important to remember that game creators have their own interests in mind, which is not only for the players to enjoy the game, but also to buy additional packages for an enhanced experience. That’s where gamers should remember they are subject to various advertising techniques and their freely disclosed data is used to target them.”
Other key insights from the research include:
• 1 out of 2 parents worry about their child’s personal data being collected by online games. Instead of collecting money from users, mobile gaming apps collect personal information and sell it to third-party companies.
• Mobile gaming apps, on average, collect 12 data points per user and majority of them use this data for third-party advertising.
• Call of Duty, Candy Crush and Pokemon are some of the most data-hungry mobile gaming apps played by children.
• Children are subject to ads on mobile gaming apps as the official age rating does not prevent minors from playing.