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Timothy B. Lee

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Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

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Posted at 03:02 PM ET, 05/12/2011

Apple says policy dictates no iAds in kids’ apps

Developer Mike Zornek makes the iPhone and iPad app Dex, which lets gamers browse information from the popular Pokemon game series. In a blog post Tuesday, Zornek said that iAds had recently been pulled from his app, leading him to believe that Apple had changed its policies on ads for kids without notifying developers.

“(The) manner in which they’ve made this policy change just stinks,” he wrote.

According to Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr, however, nothing about Apple’s policy has changed, and the iAds were mistakenly served to Zornek’s app.

“We've pulled iAds from this app,” he said. “Our policy is that we don't serve iAds into apps for kids.”

In an e-mail from Apple posted on Zornek’s site, the company said it occasionally reviews apps to make sure ads in the network are “aligned with the needs of our advertisers,” adding that their advertisers don’t want to push ads to children.

Apple recently changed a policy that made it possible for kids to rack up high bills on iPhone and iPad apps through in-app purchases. And mobile privacy — particularly for children — has been the subject of several lawmaker discussions in Washington.

Last week, Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced an online privacy bill for children that would block kids from seeing tailored online ads and give parents more control over their children’s personal information on the Web.

Related stories:

With quick click, teens part with online privacy

In-app purchases in iPad, iPhone, iPod kids' games touch off parental firestorm

Apple changes policy for in-app purchases

By  |  03:02 PM ET, 05/12/2011

Tags:  Apple, Mobile, Privacy

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