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.
Google Play Families Policy
According to Google, if your app targets children as an audience and you show ads in your app, you need to ensure your app complies with Google Play’s Families policy. In addition, you must use only Families self-certified ads SDKs. Start.io Services are not to be used in apps exclusively directed to children.
If your app is designed for everyone, including children and families, then according to Google, publishers of mixed audience apps are enabled to flag specific end-users as children, as may be permitted or required by applicable law (e.g. COPPA, GDPR, etc.). Publishers of child-directed apps are responsible for determining whether an app is permitted to flag at the end-user level, using age gates or must treat all end-users as children. Publishers should consult with their legal counsel accordingly.
Start.io Android SDK versions 4.10.6+ support the latest Google Play Families Policy. More details can be found here.
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.
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)
We also recommend downloading our latest SDK in order to be fully COPPA and GDPR compliant.
Disclaimer: the above is not a legal advice. You should consult your app’s legal status with your consultants.