Are child-monitoring apps taking advantage of parents’ concern for their kids? According to a new report from the Cybernews research team, some are. Android parental-control apps with over 85 million installations could be taking it way too far with how they track kids and collect data from them.
On top of that, the investigation discovered that four in 10 popular child-monitoring apps feature malicious links. What’s worse is that none of the apps received a high privacy grade. Parents should watch their own backs, too; they’re also being tracked and followed.
The child-monitoring apps that are tracking parents, too
The Cybernews research team analyzed 10 child-monitoring apps found in the Google Play Store. Each app was installed at least one million times; the most popular of the group garnered a whopping 50 million downloads.
Cybernews used the Mobile Security Framework (MobSF) benchmark, a common security analysis tool, to determine the apps’ privacy and security fitness. The score ranges from zero to 100; 100 represents the best score one can get. Below, you’ll find the list of apps Cybernews analyzed in order of their MobSF score (from worst to best).
1. Phone Tracker by Number – 25
2. FamiSafe: Parental Control App – 30
3. Find my kids: location tracker – 36
4. My Family locator, GPS tracker – 41
5. MMGuardian App for Child Phone – 43
6. Family Locator – GPS Tracker & Find Your Phone App – 43
7. MMGuardian Parent App – 44
8. Find my Phone. Family GPS Locator by Familo – 45
9. Family GPS tracker KidsControl – 47
10. Pingo by Findmykids – 53
Phone Tracker by Number scored the worst with 25 points and Pingo by Findmykids had the best with 53 points, but keep in mind that 53 is still a mediocre score. All apps contain third-party trackers, which isn’t ideal. If the companies aren’t honest, they can use that data for malicious means.
Seven of the 10 apps received a B for privacy, two were slapped with C, but Phone Tracker by Number got a big ol’ F. It has the lowest grade, but has one of the highest volumes of installations (over 50 million). It also is among the top 50 free apps in the social category on Google Play.
“Due to an insecure…