The #kidtech movement: a zero-data architecture for children’s apps and sites

At SuperAwesome, we spend a lot of time thinking about the requirements for an internet that is now used by vast numbers of children (versus it’s original design, which was solely for adults).

GDPR-K is rapidly being followed by new children’s laws in many countries that are based on the same principles — data minimisation and privacy by design.

The #kidtech movement is about eliminating (not just reducing) the risk of kids personal data collection as much as possible. Here’s why we believe that a zero-data internet is the only solution to the growing problem of kids digital privacy online.

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How to implement COPPA-compliant push notifications in your kids app

Push notifications are a useful tool for re-engaging users and getting kids back into your app. Under both COPPA and GDPR-K, sending push notifications to kids is deemed collecting personal information, similar to an email address, and therefore requires an appropriate level of parental consent to enable.

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What every game developer needs to know about getting parental permissions right

If you’re building a game or app for kids (under-13 in the US or under-16 in Europe), you need to consider how you’re going to manage age gates and parental permissions. Both are essential to ensure compliance with data privacy laws (COPPA and GDPR-K), but both are complex user flows and mismanaging them can create barriers to engagement for your easily-distracted young audiences.

Here’s what you need to remember:

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5 things game developers need to know about COPPA and GDPR-K

With 170,000 kids going online for the first time every day, developers have to consider them a likely audience for their games, even if they are not deliberately child-directed. Data privacy laws for children such as COPPA (US) and GDPR-K (EU) are now well known, but the lack of clear guidance on how to apply them can make publishing such games difficult and scary for developers.

Here are five things to keep in mind if you’re developing apps or sites for a children’s audience OR which might be accessed by children:

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COPPA turns 20: How it has impacted data privacy law for children

The pioneering law protecting children’s activity online, COPPA, is 20 years old this week.

 The occasion is being marked by events taking place on Capitol Hill this week and at Georgetown University next week, where the original author of the landmark legislation, Sen. Ed Markey (District of Massachusetts), and industry participants are discussing the law’s impact and where to take it next.

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SuperAwesome announces the first kid-safe OTT marketplace, reaching 25M kids in the US

As linear TV viewing continues to decline, OTT (over-the-top, the catch-all term for content providers that distribute streaming media directly to viewers over the internet) has become an increasingly popular option for brands seeking to reach kids around the same content and viewing habits.

The trend towards digital spend on OTT is a result of new players, new content and new platforms, all broadening the market and increasing the network of viewers. Brands accustomed to buying linear TV for reach can now use OTT to seamlessly translate their dollars to digital.

Our OTT marketplace has the largest digital TV reach in the US dedicated to the kids audience, reaching hundreds of OTT apps and content to enable kid-safe, COPPA-compliant advertising. Major partners include FutureToday, XUMO, KetchupTV, ToonGoggles, Ameba and KidsClick, with premium content consisting of nursery rhymes, kids favourites, classic shows and also popular gaming and unboxing channels.

Our expansion into OTT content enables the diversification of reach beyond desktop, mobile and tablet, broadening accessibility to smart televisions – and there are lots of ways in which this can help campaigns.

Advertising campaigns across the OTT marketplace see high engagement and dwell times, reflecting the connected behaviors of the new era of content watchers. Additionally, advertisers utilizing OTT are not restricted to video formats, but are afforded the ability to engage with their audience through interactive elements and bespoke sponsorships.

SuperAwesome COO Kate O’Loughlin stated: “The kids media landscape is being fundamentally reshaped with more and more digital content replacing traditional TV viewing. OTT is a key part of our continual investment in providing the kid-safe digital engagement platform of choice for every major kids brand and agency.

A 2017 report by PWC predicted a move towards marketplace-centric advertising in the kids sector, away from publisher-centric advertising, allowing brands to find their audience across a disparate set of inventory.

If you’re interested in hearing about our OTT marketplace, get in touch.

Announcing our kid-safe alternative to YouTube’s video player for kids and family publishers

Social plugins are one of the biggest unintentional harvesters of children’s personal data. Every time a child loads a web page or app which has a social widget, it’s gathering vast amounts of personal information about their activity. YouTube’s video player is one of the biggest examples of this.

Lacking any real kidtech alternative, YouTube is the default embedded video player used by family and kids publishers and brands – but the data it collects on its under-13 users is now being viewed as a violation of COPPA. A coalition of over 20 child advocacy, consumer and privacy groups recently filed a complaint with the FTC accusing YouTube of enabling the collection of personal data on millions of children across the US.

Today we’ve announced a solution to this problem: a fully kid-safe (COPPA and GDPR-K compliant) embeddable social video player.

Already delivering millions of video views, our embeddable video player is part of the PopJam Connect platform, which also provides tools for kid-safe social engagement for content owners and brands.

The player integrates PopJam’s award-winning kid-safe social features, enabling children to safely engage with content. It can be customised by the publisher, with a self-serve dashboard to create, schedule and report on video and social content, and to organise video playlists. It also features optional kid-safe monetisation options.

Our CTO Joshua Wohle, said “There are over 170,000 children going online for the first time every day and the kidtech ecosystem is growing equally quickly to make the broader internet compatible with this new audience. Publishers have been starved for kid-safe social and video options that are designed for the under-13 audience.”

To find out more about how we can deliver kid-safe video content on your platform, please contact us.

Announcing our new COO for North America!

Kate O'LoughlinAs our US business continues to rapidly scale (as well as our NYC head office, we have a presence in LA, SF and Chicago), we’ve been looking for the right leader to take it to the next level. We’re very pleased to announce that Kate O’Loughlin has joined us as our COO for North America. Kate was most recently Senior Vice President (Media) and General Manager at Tapad (acquired by Telenor for $360M). Prior to that she was Product Director at MediaMath.
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