YORK, Pa., April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AgeCheq (www.AgeCheq.com), the company helping mobile app and game publishers to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), today opened its cloud-based compliance service to mobile ad networks and other API providers that are subject to the revised COPPA law. By creating a free account at https://services.agecheq.com, API providers can dramatically ease their customers' efforts to comply with the newly updated COPPA law.
COPPA was beefed up in July 2013 to address the enhanced privacy capabilities of smartphones and tablets. The law states that mobile games and apps that could be used by kids under the age of 13 are required to provide parents with an accurate disclosure of all personal information captured by the app. Today's typical apps use many different ad networks and other third party services, making it nearly impossible for developers to assemble an accurate privacy disclosure from all of the component services they use.
AgeCheq functions as the central clearinghouse for this privacy information, and the service provides developers with a simple Web URL that delivers parents an accurate privacy disclosure including all ad networks and other APIs used by their game. To participate, each ad network or API provider creates a free account at services.agecheq.com and accurately discloses all of the private data captured by their service. From that point on, developers who use the network will get an accurate privacy disclosure for their game simply by selecting the ad networks they use from a dropdown box.
"With the updated COPPA law, ad networks and API providers are held to task to disclose the private data they capture, store and share with other third parties." said Roy Smith, AgeCheq CEO. "Beyond complying with the law, ad networks and API providers need to make it easy for their customers to provide accurate privacy disclosures. Without a service like AgeCheq, each app developer would have to call up each of the ad networks he uses one at a time to gather this information manually to insure compliance with COPPA. Using AgeCheq as a central clearinghouse of this information helps third parties save resources and avoid support calls from every developer who is going to need this info."
A recent FTC study on mobile apps for kids stated, "Most apps fail to provide any information about the data collected through the app, let alone the type of data collected, the purpose of the collection, and who would obtain access to the data. Even more troubling, the results (of the study) showed that many of the apps shared certain information – such as device ID, geolocation, or phone number – with third parties without disclosing that fact to parents. Further, a number of apps contained interactive features – such as advertising, the ability to make in-app purchases, and links to social media – without disclosing these features to parents prior to download. It is clear that more needs to be done in order to provide parents with greater transparency in the mobile app marketplace."
"The process of validating a parent's ID, providing complete disclosures that parents can understand, and gaining parental approval for a child to play an app are completely new friction points for app and game publishers," adds Smith. "Implemented poorly, these friction points could reduce game play and limit monetization. We've seen already from some of the early attempts at compliance, the "disclosures" offered by publishers vary widely from unintelligible to barely acceptable. The mobile app industry requires a single, simple-to-use system that manages COPPA compliance for both publishers and parents, and that is exactly what AgeCheq is."
AgeCheq offers app and game developers COPPA compliance with minimal effort and no cost. Publishers interested in becoming COPPA compliant tomorrow can sign up today at https://developer.agecheq.com.
To view a video walkthrough of the AgeCheq Services Portal visit http://vimeo.com/92177550
Third parties interested in helping to make COPPA compliance simple for the apps they support can sign up for an AgeCheq account today at https://services.agecheq.com.
AgeCheq is a complete "COPPA compliance ecosystem," serving the needs of both app developers who must comply with the law and parents who want to regain control of their children's online privacy. AgeCheq offers app publishers a frictionless path to make their apps and games COPPA compliant, at no cost. For parents, AgeCheq provides a single point of contact where they can easily see, and approve or disapprove, of what is going on behind the scenes in the apps their children use. AgeCheq is platform-agnostic and can be integrated into an existing app and tested within a day. For more information visit http://www.AgeCheq.com.
Link to FTC Study: http://ftc.gov/os/2012/12/121210mobilekidsappreport.pdf