Oreo is now installed on 4.6% of Android devices

Android P Will Have Gesture Navigation Similar To The iPhone X

"There's no way for the average consumer to tell an app can do this", Egelman told NBC News.

This particular development is courtesy of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley's International Computer Science Institute, The Guardian reports. The team found its results with an automatic test that detects how data is handled in Android apps.

The researchers also said that almost half of the apps fail to always use standard security measures to transmit sensitive data over the Web, suggesting a breach of reasonable data security measures mandated by Coppa.

Researchers at the University of California's International Computer Science Institute analyzed 5,855 of the most downloaded kids apps, concluding that majority are "are potentially in violation" of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act 1998, or COPPA, a federal law making it illegal to collect personally identifiable data on children under 13. Further, the amount of at-risk data is likely higher, as the study notes that it didn't examine if TLS was used correctly, only checking if it was there or not.

"Google has basically looked the other way while it was able to generate revenues off of children's apps", said Centre for Digital Democracy executive director Jeffrey Chester.

"This study, by the authors' own admission, does not claim to identify any actual violation of COPPA".

"The new, alarming report is further evidence that Google is thumbing its nose at the only federal online privacy law that we have".

"Protecting kids and families is a top priority, and our Designed for Families program requires developers to abide by specific requirements above and beyond our standard Google Play policies", Google's statement reportedly reads. Even if the data gathered only contained a string of numbers and letters as part of an identification code, tracking companies could partner with third-party data brokers to connect that code with other slices of information collected - and form a complete user profile to deliver targeted advertising. "It's past time to treat privacy-especially for minors-as the human right it is".

Looking for help keeping your kids private?

Google's distribution numbers suggest that either a lot of people are simply ignoring the updates and using their phones with the older software, or that people are holding on to their older devices for longer, contrary to what the trends make us believe. "Remember, the Internet is written in ink!"



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