Many people think this type of data collection is a major invasion of privacy. That includes Jill Bronfman, a privacy expert at Common Sense, an organization that helps kids stay safe online.
“Everyone should have privacy rights, even young children,” she says.
Most apps have privacy policies that explain what details they gather. But those policies are often long and confusing—which causes many people to skip reading them. Only 9 percent of Americans say they always read privacy policies before agreeing to them, according to a 2019 survey by the Pew Research Center.
It’s nearly impossible to remain completely anonymous online. But there are ways you can protect your information. For starters, download only apps that your parents have approved, says Bronfman. She also suggests never lying about your age to get an app. Age restrictions are in place to protect you. Don’t share personal details, such as your name, where you live, or what school you go to. Also, come up with usernames that don’t identify you. Most important, Bronfman warns, stay aware.
“Companies are always watching what you’re doing online,” she says.