Privacy of Streaming Apps and Devices: Watching TV That Watches Us

August 24, 2021

Privacy of Streaming Apps and Devices: Watching TV That Watches Us

Tweens boys sit and watch TV

Streaming apps and devices became a go-to for families to find entertaining and educational content for kids. But these apps and devices are collecting data about every user -- to create profiles, understand behavior, and ultimately create a seamless viewing experience. But this information is some of the most personal data that a platform can collect.

We reviewed the privacy protections in the top 10 streaming apps, as well as the top five streaming devices, that include programming directed at kids and families and found that most apps and devices are using practices that are putting consumers' privacy at risk -- especially that of kids.

The companies behind streaming apps must do more to protect kids' privacy, from providing stronger parental controls to establishing specific policies for kids. But our findings also serve as a reminder to parents to make smart choices around the apps they allow their kids to use and how to better protect their privacy while streaming.

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