Bad Santa Apps!

Taking Action

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Parents, be sure to review any Christmas-themed or Santa Apps that your child wants to download. While these apps can be lots of fun for your children, some apps could be asking for more information than the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) allows. Parents of children under 13 have the right to review and consent to requests for personal identifiable information on their child. Here some guidelines to consider before allowing your child to download and app.

  • Understand the Privacy Policy: Be sure to understand the types of information the app will be collecting and how that information will be used. Keep in mind that, according to COPPA, videos, photos, or voice recordings of the child may not be collected without consent by the parent. Nor are they allowed to collect information that could reveal the specific location of the child.
  • Check In-App Permissions: Even if you have consented to an app download, check the permissions in that app for additional download opportunities. Make sure these are set to require passwords before download.
  • Inappropriate Ads on Apps: Some apps that claim to appeal to children may also carry adult-themed ads, so make sure to preview the ads on the app before allowing your child to use it. Source:

For detail on the COPPA Rule, go to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule: A Six-Step Compliance Plan for Your Business.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to

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