Privacy Icon

Using the Icons

Once on the badge generator, designate “yes” or “no” for each icon based on the features in your app. When complete, save the image for your website or mobile app screenshot.

Also refer to “App Trust Project”, an initiative by the Association for Competitive Technology to make these icons available nationwide:

Icon Definitions

  • Ads – In app advertisements served from 3rd party ad networks
  • Social –  Integration with social networks such as Facebook or Twitter
  • Location – Ability to track a user’s location from the app
  • Web – Hyperlinks to the internet that open a mobile web browser, from within the app
  • Purchase – In App Purchase functionality, allowing users to purchase content through “buy” or “unlock” features within the app

Background & Timeline of Privacy Milestones

February, 2012 – Federal Trade Commission’s Report on Mobile Apps for Kids – not enough disclosures in app store marketing materials for consumers to make knowledgeable decisions about apps for kids.

February, 2012 – FTC Report Summary, by Moms With Apps, acknowledges FTC’s concerns and presents this context as an opportunity for parent app developers to take responsible actions.

February, 2012 – Press Release: Parent App Developers Announce New Privacy Disclosures for Users

March, 2012 – Working versions of icons based on feedback from by developers at Moms With Apps

April, 2012 – Collaboration with Privacy Choice to make an automatic badge generator for the icons.

May, 2012 – Meetings with app developers and Federal Trade Commission during ACT Flyin, May 8th, 2012.

May, 2012 – Recommendations for Mobile App Developers (elaborated in 2nd half of this blog post):

July, 2012 – Article on Privacy and Kids’ Apps in Christian Science Monitor

August, 2012 – FTC updates COPPA’s proposed revisions (impressions)

October, 2012 – ACT ( launches App Trust Project to expand icon and privacy education on a nationwide scale:

December, 2012 – FTC releases 2nd report on mobile apps for kids: “Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade

December, 2012 – KQED interview with Lorraine Akemann about Children’s Online Privacy and the FTC Report

January 2013 – California Attorney General Kamala Harris releases Privacy on the Go: Recommendations for the Mobile Ecosystem

February 2013 – FTC Report on Mobile Privacy Disclosures:

February 2013 – ACT and kids’ app devs announce they are teaming up to get a kids’ app association off of the ground:

April 2013 – FTC releases COPPA FAQs

June 2013 – Moms With Apps and ACT partner to roll out “Know What’s Inside”, a new program to promote best practices for children’s online privacy in apps for kids.


Children’s Online Privacy – we all have a role to play

Keeping kids safe online is a team effort. When app developers write clearly written privacy policies, parents have access to information about how the app works before they download it. In parallel, parents need to stay engaged with their children’s online activities and keep up with technological advances. New technology is introduced at an alarming rate, which means consumer education around digitally literacy is important for successfully navigating mobile environments. We also depend on platform providers, like the app stores, to provide a framework for describing, rating, and classifying apps so parents have a standard format for deciphering product information.

More Information

I like to write about children’s online privacy issues. A full list of blog posts on the topic are categorized here:

Questions? Contact Lorraine Akemann

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