Is your App designated for kids?
When you develop an app, which is designated for kids, or most likely that your users will be kids, it is your responsibility to keep those kids (your users) privacy, and that the content they are exposed to is adequate for kids.
We are here to help you. Please consider if you have to mark your app as “designated for kids”, so we can treat your app accordingly. Please note that if your app is designated for kids, in addition to sharing it with us, you should choose the correct age category / content rating, as available on app stores.
Restrictions on advertisements content
It’s obvious that not all advertisements can be displayed to users which are (or may be) kids. These users should not be exposed to advertisements with inappropriate content to kids such as: dating, adult, violence, alcohol, tobacco or legal drugs related content.
In addition to the above, there are certain restrictions of app stores (Google Play or Apple) in regard of the way advertisements may be displayed. When you designate your app for kids, you should choose the appropriate age category of your app. For example, in Google Play you can choose the “Designed for Families program”; in Apple app store, you can choose your app to be included in “kids category”.
Restrictions on collection of data
When it comes to collection of data, regulators worldwide protect the privacy of children more strictly.
In the US, children’s privacy is governed by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), which applies to the online collection of personal information about children under 13 or children with disabilities. Under COPPA, personal information can be legally collected from children only if their parents’ permission has been granted.
Under GDPR (which applies to EU users), processing of the personal data of a child is only allowed when the child is at least 16 years old. If a child is under that age, parents’ consent must be obtained.
If parental consent is not obtained, that user’s personal data must not be processed, i.e.: data about user’s activity, preferences and profile must not be collected or processed, and targeted or behavioral advertisements cannot thereof be served.
New Google Ad Network Certification
The new Ad Network Certification by Google Play is designed to make children’s apps safer. Start.io (Formerly StartApp) is one of the very first mobile partners to receive Google’s new SDK certification. For publishers and advertisers of family apps, Start.io is the smart, safe and certified choice.
Google’s new SDK certification is designed to ensure that children’s apps available in the Play Store are completely suitable and safe, with no content or advertising that is age-inappropriate, exploitative or harmful. Google has undertaken to assess mobile ad networks and determine which are compliant with the new certification standards. Those who meet the criteria are selected to be included on the list of Google certified ad networks.
Start.io (Formerly StartApp) has been selected as one of the first and few mobile networks to be certified under the new Google Ad Network Certification policy, having met the strict criteria for app safety for children and families.
Start.io is fully COPPA and GDPR compliant, which means no collection of any personal data from children aged under 13 (US) and 16 (EU). The Start.io SDK only supports kid-safe advertising content. All advertising campaigns submitted to the Start.io platform are reviewed and vetted to ensure they are suitable to run on kid-centered apps. As part of the initial approved list for the Google certification program, Start.io is committed to ensuring a safe and appropriate app ecosystem for children and their families.
How Does Start.io comply with the laws apply to kids?
As a mobile advertising platform, Start.io (Formerly StartApp) serves targeted advertising to mobile end users based on their activity, preferences and profile.
If you integrated our SDK into an app designated for kids, you must notify us in order to stay compliant. On the Start.io dashboard, there is a “designated for kids” section where you can flag any of your apps that need to be in compliance with COPPA / GDPR requirements for kids apps. ( Learn more here https://support.start.io/hc/en-us/articles/360006161613-Setting-Your-App-as-Designed-For-Kids )
Disclaimer: the above is not a legal advice. You should consult your app’s legal status with your consultants.