Dating Apps they are complicated terrain: there are the consolidated and reasonably safe ones, like Tinder or OkCupid, and there are those with less visibility (and, consequently, less scrutiny by the public and experts) that can lie down and roll with weird policies or practices .
Recently, as reported by CNBC, three of this second type were removed from the App Store It’s from Google Play for a very serious reason: to allow entry of children under 13.
The apps in question (Meet24, Meet4U and FastMeet) are developed by a Ukrainian company called Wildec and allowed children under 13 to sign up for their services and be contacted by users of any age. Worse, the applications recorded children’s location information in real time, which allowed adult users to identify children’s profiles by age and proximity.
This, of course, represents a flagrant violation of COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), and adults who have contacted these children will face criminal charges.
The Federal Trade Commission (US regulatory agency) sent a letter to Wildec, pointing out the infractions and demanding that the entry of children into apps be prohibited; meanwhile, Apple and Google removed the apps from their stores. According to the agency, they may return to the App Store and Google Play in the future, as long as they allow adult use only.
It is quite true that both Apple and Google had, in theory, to have verified this before the FTC; both stores, after all, strictly prohibit dating apps that allow children to enter. That the apps were still there is a sign that companies are not doing as good an inspection job as they should for such a sensitive issue – and also a sign that parents and guardians should be more attentive than ever to the that infants are doing on the net.