In the catalog of Google Play, a bunch of apps for children under 5 years of age. They are mostly designed for teaching arithmetic, reading and writing, but the pediatrician Jenny Radesky believes that they are not effective. The reason, in her opinion, is the abundance of advertising that can be embedded in applications by developers. To test his assumption, she turned to other professionals. The results were published by the New York Times.
A team of researchers for hundreds of hours studied 135 different games designed to teach children. It turned out that 95% of them contain at least one form of advertising. Not only that, bright banners can distract children from learning, they also encourage them to make in-app purchases. It was also noted that the low popularity of the app means a greater number of integrated advertising.
For example, in the game “Olaf’s Adventures” about one of the characters of the cartoon “the Cold heart”, the glowing icon opens a pie shop with in-app purchases. The same trick used by developers of children’s simulation Doctor Kids (Children’s doctor) — if you don’t press on the icon of the store, the game character starts to cry.
The Executive Director of the law firm Center for Digital Democracy Jeff Chester has accused Google in collaboration with unscrupulous developers. In response, a Google spokesperson explained that the developers the right to build in-app advertising, if it does not collect information about users under the age of 13. Children’s apps are included in the program Designed for Families with more stringent requirements. Besides, in Google Play there is a warning about the presence of advertising and purchases that are supposed to draw the attention of parents.
The researchers turned to a more serious organs, so they can investigate further and take action against razrabotchiku, preying on children. Many of them do zloupotreblyat advertising in 2017, Google has already made attempts to deal with such developers.
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