Thousands of free apps on the Google Play Store are improperly collecting data about children, Engadget reported.
Using an automated testing methodology, researchers found 3,337 child and family-oriented apps were collecting data about children they should not be.
Of the apps in the study, 281 collected contact or location data without asking for a parent’s permission.
Another 1,100 shared persistent identifying information with third parties, and 2,281 appeared to violate the Google terms of service forbidding apps from sharing those identifiers to the same destination as the Android Advertising ID.
About 40% of the apps transmitted this data without using reasonable security measures.
Nearly all of the 1,280 apps (92%) with Facebook tie-ins were not properly using the social network’s systems to prevent under-13 use.