Onstage at Code Conference 2019, PBS’ CEO expressed concerns about a change Apple recently made to kids apps in its App Store.
A change Apple recently made to kids apps in its App Store is negatively impacting the Public Broadcasting Service, and the nonprofit broadcaster’s chief executive isn’t happy about it.
Paula Kerger, PBS’ longest-serving president and CEO, told Recode’s Peter Kafka at the 2019 Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Tuesday that PBS Kids streaming apps will be adversely affected by new restrictions Apple is placing around third-party analytics for apps for children.
Apple earlier this month said it would change its guidelines and bar apps in the kids category from including third-party advertising and analytics software; kids apps will now also be prohibited to transmit data collected in-app to third parties. The changes, which are set to go into effect on September 3, would prevent PBS from being able to track whether its content and game features are working, and it would make it more difficult for it to tweak the apps to make them more effective educational tools.
“We’ll have to pull down the apps, and we have millions of kids that are using our apps. So it’s a challenge,” Kerger said. She later added, “We’re not selling stuff to kids.” Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
Apple’s handling of third-party apps related to children has come under scrutiny in recent months. The New York Times in April reported that Apple was removing and restricting apps meant to help users cut down on screen time or to help parents monitor and limit what their children are doing on their devices. Developers of those apps claimed that after the tech giant announced parental-control features of its own, it is now trying to squash its competitors. Read more