Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Review date: April 20, 2022

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Not creepy

"Help a monster friend with big feelings learn to calm down and solve everyday challenges." Yes please! Elmo and the gang at Sesame Street's app -- aimed at parents and caregivers of kids aged 2-5 -- is designed to help the young ones learn how to calm down, learn self-control, and expand their emotional vocabulary. The app is bilingual in English and Spanish, research-based, and free to download and use. Sesame Workshop's privacy policy says most of the things kids can do on the app don't require users to submit any personal information. Yay! Now, if they only made an adult version too! Unfortunately, we do have some small security concerns about the app.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

We're not too worried about the privacy of Sesame Workshop's mental development app for young children. TThe privacy policy does say that sometimes personal information like name and email might be collected but only with parental consent. And with no behavioral advertising (read, targeted ads) on the platform, parents should be able to breathe a small sigh of relief. Sesame Workshop is an educational non-profit, so they aren't trying to make money off you or your child's data, which is a breath of fresh air.

Our biggest privacy flag for this app is the privacy policy hasn't been updated since 2013, which is a very long time in privacy policy years. All in all though, if parents follow the basic guidelines for protecting young children online (please always do this parents and caregivers!), your child's privacy will likely be pretty safe.

We do have some questions we couldn't get answered about the security of this app. We couldn't confirm if Sesame Workshop has a program to manage security vulnerabilities. We did reach out to ask these questions to the email provided in their privacy policy, however we received no response. Which is concerning as this is also the email address provided for parents to contact Sesame Workshop to have any potential child's personal information reviewed and/or removed. With an app that collects so little personal information, this is probably not too big a concern. However, the app does request permission for access to a device's microphone, so an insecure app could be a problem.

What's the worst that could happen? Hopefully nothing more than your child learns how to be a little bit calmer. Calm is good. However, if the app were to have an unmanaged security vulnerability that gave a bad person access to your phone's microphone without you knowing, well, that wouldn't be good at all. This is probably not likely to happen. But we should remind parents that anything that connects to the internet your child plays with has potential vulnerabilities so it's always good to supervise them when they use your devices.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Parents should read up and implement the guidelines on how to protect children online.
  • Never share your child's personal information online
  • Use the app with your child
mobile Privacy Security warning A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: N/A

App: No

Microphone

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: N/A

App: No

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

There is no behavioral advertising on the platform which means that you will not see any advertising that is targeted to you based on your combined activity on the platform and your activity on other sites and apps.

The app do not make personal information collected from children publicly available

The policy does not mention any sharing of data with third parties, or selling of data.

How can you control your data?

Parents may contact the provider at [email protected] to review, update or delete any of their children’s personal information that the app may have collected and to elect for the app not to collect any additional personal information from their children.

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Average

No known privacy or security incidents discovered in the last 3 years.

Child Privacy Information

The app's collection of personal information on Platforms that are directed to children under 13 is intended to follow the principles of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a U.S. law designed to protect the online privacy of children under the age of 13. The app will obtain parental consent before asking for personal information on the Children’s Platforms, unless the request for information falls within an exception that would be permitted under COPPA.

Can this product be used offline?

No

User-friendly privacy information?

No

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Unknown

Encryption

N/A

The app collects no personal data

Strong password

N/A

No password needed, as there is no sign-up process in the app

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Can’t Determine

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

No


News

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame
Common Sense Education
Sesame Street's newest human resident, Mando (introduced in the fall of 2013), narrates while kids and a blue monster together tackle everyday frustrations -- like struggling to tie shoes, dealing with separation anxiety, taking turns, and going to bed -- and learn how to deal with them.
Privacy Evaluation for Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame
Common Sense Privacy Program
Sesame Street's terms state they do not make personal information collected from children publicly available or enable children to do so. However, Sesame Street's terms do not state whether they allow social interactions between users. Sesame Street's terms recommend that involvement in your family's online lives is one of the most important safety tools available, and they encourage parents to educate themselves and their child on privacy concerns under COPPA with resources they provide.
Protecting Your Child’s Privacy Online
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice
As a parent, you have control over the personal information companies collect online from your kids under 13. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act gives you tools to do that. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule. If a site or service is covered by COPPA, it has to get your consent before collecting personal information from your child and it has to honor your choices about how that information is used.

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