What is Kids' Tech?

The Common Sense Privacy Program evaluates popular consumer technology applications and services that are currently used by millions of children at home and in the classroom. Kid-related applications and services used at home include a wide range of technologies such as games and apps for communication, collaboration with friends, content creation, and delivery of media entertainment. To effectively evaluate the policies of all these applications and services, a child-focused assessment framework was developed based on existing federal and state law, as well as universal privacy and security principles. This framework incorporates over 35 privacy- and security-related questions that are commonly expected to be disclosed in a company's policies.

Why evaluate privacy?

Just in the past year alone, parents are facing new challenges and privacy risks when it comes to balancing the demand from their kids to use new applications and services with their concerns of online privacy. The Common Sense Privacy Program was created to champion child privacy and support parents and communities on a path toward a more secure digital future for all kids.

Parents can use our easy-to-understand privacy evaluations to make informed choices about the products they use at home and pass on that information to other parents and families using the same apps with their kids. Helpful summaries show how companies address safety, security, privacy, and compliance in their policies and terms of service. Privacy evaluations speed up the decision-making process so parents can find the most appropriate apps to use with their children at home and in their daily lives.

What are our goals?

  • To give parents the information they need to make informed choices about the apps they use with their children.

  • To collaborate with software developers to make sure their policies are transparent, comprehensive, and created with kids' best interests in mind.

How is our privacy evaluation different?

Our evaluations are unique in several ways:

  • We read the policies. It's that simple. We are the only evaluators who read all of a product's policies and use a basic 35-point privacy evaluation of that product's terms to provide a child-focused evaluation. Many other evaluators do not provide an evaluation based on a product's actual privacy policy and/or only observe a product's privacy controls to try to determine whether it's safe to use.

  • We protect more than kids. We primarily evaluate the privacy practices of products currently used by children at home. Kid tech applications and services intended for children pose unique privacy risks because of the sensitive personal information they can collect. However, we also evaluate whether a product's privacy practices have an impact on parents, who, in many cases use the product with their children. Many other evaluators focus only on how a product protects information collected from kids, but do not evaluate whether privacy protections are available for other users of a product like parents or guardians.