BloomWorlds

New Android application site depends on the TRUSTe Children’s Privacy Seal Program.

Achieveing FTC COPPA Compliance


BloomWorlds, a Founder Institute company, is vying to be the world’s safest location to house Android applications. Founded by Darrell Brogdon and Todd R. Levy in 2010, BloomWorlds is now building an innovative, family-friendly app store. The BloomWorlds store site will be concentrating on all Android applications that are targeting children, many of which have an educational focus.

BloomWorld’s development model is based on a three-geared plan to evaluate all Android applications; by filtering, structuring, and personalizing all content. The process starts with the company’s parental advisory council, whose members filter and categorize all Android apps based on theme, age range, life stage, and other criteria. The council then writes testimonials on how their children interacted with the apps, not mere status quo reviews. Using this information, BloomWorlds has developed an educational rating system for these apps, relying on input from various industry scholars, educational experts, and experimental research for guidance on the company’s unique rating system.

The final step in BloomWorld’s vision to personalize the user experience. Apps will be tailored to each individual, searchable by category − for example ones that help users learn the alphabet, play an instrument, be more productive, or ones that just make users smile. With these goals in mind, the company has adopted the tagline, ”BloomWorlds, the app store that grows with you.”

We are in the process of developing a family-friendly Android application store. Our site targets user from different age ranges and life stages. The inclusion of young children leads us to focus on security as a top priority. By incorporating the TRUSTe Children’s Privacy Seal, we are able to demonstrate our commitment to safety.

– Todd R. Levy, Co-Founder, Bloomworlds

Situation

By including children’s interests in the family friendly Application store, BloomWorlds has decided to take on the responsibility of ensuring that privacy issues are alleviated. Websites that collect information from children under the age of thirteen are required to comply with Federal Trade Commission ( FTC ) Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The COPPA rules spell out what a website operator must include in its privacy policy, when and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent, and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children’s privacy and safety online.

The number of Android applications is skyrocketing. As of January 2011, there were more than 200,000 games, applications, and widgets available on the Android Market, with an estimated 2.6 billion total downloads. Unfortunately, many of the Android application providers don’t offer even a basic form of consumer protection, such as written privacy policies on their websites or inside their apps. Currently, Google does not require privacy policies on any of the Android apps. Thus parents have no way to know if the applications their children are downloading are safe.

Results

In order to provide a secure, family-friendly Website, BloomWorlds made the decision to partner with TRUSTe − the industry leader in Internet privacy. The Federal Trade Commission has already approved the TRUSTe Children’s Privacy Seal Program as a COPPA Safe Harbor program. Backed by these strict requirements, the TRUSTe Children’s Privacy Seal certifies that BloomWorlds’ website is compliant with the COPPA rule − letting parents know that their kids and their confidential information are safe.

BloomWorlds will be displaying the TRUSTe Children’s Privacy Seal on every page of its Android application store. “We needed a way to communicate to parents that our site is safe and secure,” stated Todd R. Levy, co-founder of BloomWorlds. “The TRUSTe privacy seal demonstrates our unwavering commitment to privacy and security. We have now passed TRUSTe’s extensive evaluation of our privacy practices, enabling us to display the TRUSTe Children’s Privacy Program Seal on every page of our new Android market website.”



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