Lawmakers highlight evidence of children’s privacy violations that appear to conflict with Google’s representations to parents
Washington (April 21, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Kathy Castor (FL-14) today sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to investigate whether Google violated Section V of the FTC Act by misleadingly marketing children’s apps as compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) despite evidence that many of those apps appear to illegally track children’s behavior and share their personal information without consent. Section V of the FTC Act prohibits unfair and deceptive practices, including statements or representations that mislead consumers. In their letter, the lawmakers reference evidence of widespread children’s privacy violations included in a recent review of the Google Play Store by leading experts. Senator Markey previously wrote to the FTC in December 2018 regarding evidence of children’s privacy and consumer protection violations on the Google Play Store.
“In 2018, experts and lawmakers called on the FTC to investigate the Google Play Store for potential violations of consumer protection and privacy laws. The FTC’s decision to investigate may have resulted in unnecessary harm to children and families. During a period in which children’s technology use has skyrocketed, our renewed call for the FTC to investigate the Google Play Store is even more urgent,” write Senator Markey and Representative Castor in their letter to the FTC.
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.