Apps And Games To Be Rated For Sexual Content And Violence

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Applications and Games to be given ratings:

In the US, CTIA-The Wireless Association, has agreed to provide a voluntary ratings system which will be launched for all releases of applications and games.

Applications and games to get ratings
Applications and games to get ratings

The move aims to help parents and will be backed by the following “storefronts”: Sprint, AT&T, Microsoft, U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless.

A recent report by Common Sense Media, a Californian based children’s advocacy group, has shown that 52% of children between the ages of 8 and under have access to smartphones and tablets.

Voluntary does not mean it will work:

While there may be some good intentions behind the move it appears that Google, who have perhaps the most abused marketplace in Android, and Apple will not be signing up to the system and want to keep things just as they are.

In an email to BusinessWeek, Christopher Katsaros, a Google spokesman, said :

“While we support other systems, we think it’s best for Android users and developers to stick with Android’s existing ratings.”

Apple are also not reported to have signed up just yet which currently means that the system is nigh on useless.

Process in more detail:

When a developer submits an application to a “storefront” they will have to complete a series of questions related to the apps content. Once done, an almost instantaneous result will emerge and the application will have duly been classified and rated.

This process will not need to be repeated again when submitting the app to other storefronts in the scheme.

CTIA said of the process:

“Each rated app is issued a certificate and a unique identifying code that may be subsequently submitted to other storefronts during their respective onboarding processes, avoiding the need for developers to repeat the rating process, this means consistent ratings across participating storefronts and a convenient, cost-free process for app developers.”

The announcement is an addition to CTIA’s 2010 Guidelines for Application Content Classification and Rating, CTIA said.

Do you think this will actually make a difference to app availability and consumption, or is it an exercise in looking like they care, while creating more bureaucratic jobs in the process?

Anthony Munns