Sigh. We’ve seen this one before. The stage is set for the next bout between concerned parents and watchdog groups and web and mobile sites that cater to kids. Because it’s so easy to glean information about kids habits, whereabouts and friends using the technologies in today’s smartphones, there’s a movement to look for ways to, an minimum make kids and their parents more aware of the issue and at maximum, pass legislation with penalties for taking kid’s information inappropriately. This week the FTC issued a report that included a strong wag of finger to kid’s apps creators. The report asks them to do more to make the information they’re getting from young users more transparent.
One of the recommendations is a simplified explanation terms and conditions. This should work about as well as telling your kids that they’ll have to read the manual that comes with their new bicycles!
But, what if terms and conditions could be integrated as part of the “play” experience of a site or an app. What if you got points for completing the brief “what could happen/what information we’re sharing” game? Points that you could later spend on the game itself.
I’m no game designer, but I know the power of games to lure and engross. So, how about creating an intro game to sites for kids that give a quick overview of the nasties or lack thereof — you don’t play them… no prizes for you.
For a good overview of the latest FTC findings on kid’s privacy: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/f-t-c-issues-report-on-apps-and-data/
For the full report: http://ftc.gov/os/2012/02/120216mobile_apps_kids.pdf