Young children are exposed to a lot of dangers that roam on the internet. That is why technology giants Google and Apple removed three dating apps Meet24, Meet4U and FastMeet after they were marked as “potentially dangerous for children’’ by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Last week, the FTC warned that the apps could be violating federal children’s privacy standards and after that, they were removed by Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
According to a statement in The Hill made by a spokesman of Wildec LLC (the Ukrainian company behind the three apps), they addressed the potential violations noted by the FTC after it was notified on May 1 and is hoping that Apple and Google will return the apps to their stores.
‘’We immediately reacted on FTC requirements and fixed all the issues, including removing all data from underage accounts,’’ the spokesman said.
According to The Hill, the FTC prompted by the advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said the apps allowed children under the age of 13 to sign up and participate, in violation of a law that requires companies to obtain parental consent before collecting personal information on children who aren’t teenagers.
The FTC also noted that these apps gathered the personal information of children such as emails, birthdays, location and images.
The agency issued a statement on Monday, in which they said:
‘’In its review of the apps, FTC staff found users who indicated they were as young as 12. Allowing adult users to communicate with children poses a serious health and safety risk.’’
Some adults are already under criminal charges for using the apps to contact underage children.
According to Wildec, the apps were removed on May 2, and the FTC requirements were fulfilled as they hope the apps will be back to the stores soon.