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Apple updates App Review Guidelines with focus on apps for children

Ahead of its push for iPads in education initiative, Apple has updated the App Review Guidelines document, adding new sections and regulations specifically targeting child safety.

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Among the changes to Apple's App Review Guidelines, first reported by MacRumors, is a new rule pertaining to the U.S. government's expansion of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

The federal statute dictates what information websites and similar entities can collect about a child under the age of 13 with consent from a parent or guardian. Apple's regulations bring the App Review Guidelines up to date by disallowing developers to harvest photos, video or audio of an underage user.

17.4 Apps that collect, transmit, or have the capability to share personal information (e.g. name, address, email, location, photos, videos, drawings, persistent identifiers, the ability to chat, or other personal data) from a minor must comply with applicable children's privacy statutes.

A completely new section describes limitations in respect to apps made specifically for young children. Developers cannot include targeted ads and must ask for permission from parents before linking out of the app.

Finally, the new rules add limitations to gambling apps, especially those that offer in-app purchasing for game credits or currency.

The additions and adjustments comes ahead of Apple's iPad in education push, which recently saw the company open up iTunes accounts to children under 13 years old. Previously, iTunes restricted pre-teens from holding personal accounts.