According to cybersecurity specialists, Apple and Google have banned three dating apps off their official platforms after U.S. authorities published a report stating that these services could expose minors to sexual predators.
In the report, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mentions that the dating apps FastMeet, Meet 24 and Meet4U, violated some provisions of the Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This law prohibits websites and mobile applications from collecting information from children under the age of 13 without parental consent.
According to experts in cybersecurity, when analyzing these apps, profiles of 12-year-old users were found; the FTC claims that the company collected a large amount of data from minor users, including birth dates and location data, which could leave children at risk.
The FTC informed the company of alleged attempts by some users to contact minors through the three apps; the government agency claims that Wildec was aware that children thirteen years of age or younger used some of these apps.
Applications have already been removed from Google Play Store and App Store; to this date, no representative or official of Wildec has made any statement. In addition, the FTC demanded that the company immediately remove from its records any information belonging to minors; Wildec also received recommendations to update its policy of data collection and consent of parents or guardians.
According to cybersecurity experts from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), any adult, regardless of their intentions, could search by age and location to locate the nearest children, so it was necessary for the authorities and official downloading apps platforms to intervene.
Recently, countries like the United Kingdom have implemented more aggressive measures against child exploitation attempts over the Internet, proposing penalties even for executives of technology companies not complying with child protection laws.