Google Play and childrens' privacy

23 réponses [Dernière contribution]
GNUbahn
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/19/2016

I have also posted this at the replicant forum but I suppose someone here might have an answer:

I would like my 5 year old daughter to use a replicanted device but face some crucial challenges.

She mainly uses games (e.g. tocoboco's and lego) and music (i.e. spotify), which are not available outside Google Play (afaik).

I suppose there will be issues with graphics and some apps might require connection to the internet (I will not allow those).

Would it be feasible to

1: install games and/or music apps on an unsafe device (i.e. with google play installed)
2: extract the .apk
3: install the app on a replicated device?

I consider to use either an S3 4G/i9305 or Tab 2/p3110 disconected from networks.

onpon4
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/30/2012

I'm not sure, but assuming that it is possible, it would be copyright infringement to my knowledge. (IANAL)

Perhaps it would be better to introduce her to what F-Droid offers. What sorts of games does she play? You said "tocoboco's and lego", but I don't know what kinds of games those are.

loldier
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/17/2016

I think it’s Toca Boca.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toca_Boca

GNUbahn
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/19/2016

You said "tocoboco's and lego", but I don't know what kinds of games those are

me too! It is kind of crap, but however daddy's determination on freedom and openness, these games hayatteimasu (sorry, no anthy on this box yet) - are popular among her friends.

How would using a legally downloaded program on a legally purchased device infringe copyright?

tomlukeywood
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 12/05/2014

"How would using a legally downloaded program on a legally purchased device infringe copyright?"
Some applications forbid copying.

also in some country’s circumventing digital restrictions is against the law.
(https://www.defectivebydesign.org/what_is_drm_digital_restrictions_management)

onpon4
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/30/2012

> How would using a legally downloaded program on a legally purchased device infringe copyright?

Because you're making copies and distributing them to someone else (your daughter). Her being your daughter does not change anything, and neither does the fact that you're using a physical storage medium to do the job instead of the Internet.

onpon4
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/30/2012

Regarding her friends, it's worth noting that F-Droid includes a feature that allows setting up your device as a localized repo for other F-Droid users. So she can share the games she has with her friends that way. She might also be able to get the games her friends play off of them this way too, though I'm not entirely sure.

While I'd suggest allowing her to do what she wants, including installing proprietary software if she wants to, I would not recommend assisting her in doing so.

tomlukeywood
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 12/05/2014

"Would it be feasible to

1: install games and/or music apps on an unsafe device (i.e. with google play installed)
2: extract the .apk
3: install the app on a replicated device?"

it could be, but i imagine most phones will include drm to try and stop you from doing this.

also some games will not run correctly or be too slow on Replicant due to the lack of a fast replacement to the proprietary graphics drivers at the moment.

you can find a list of phones and their levels of support here:
https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/ReplicantStatus
and recommended phones here: https://www.replicant.us/freedom-privacy-security-issues.php#recommendations

I have Samsung Galaxy S2 running replicant and everything is quiet responsive and it can run some 2d games well but if i give it a more graphically intensive application like Minetest it rely struggles.

I recommend trying and introduce your daughter to some of the games on F-droid (Replicant's application center).

this has the added advantage of avoiding proprietary software as well.

chaosmonk

I am a member!

I am a translator!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/07/2017

I dread the thought of trying to raise children for this reason. Proprietary software intended for children is especially predatory, and it must be hard to protect them from it when it is how they socialize with their friends.

> She mainly uses games (e.g. tocoboco's and lego) and music (i.e.
> spotify), which are not available outside Google Play (afaik).

These programs are not included in the F-Droid repository because they are proprietary. If you want your daughter to use a Replicant phone, you probably already understand that proprietary software allows the developer to mistreat the user. When it comes it mobile programs, particularly those used by children, this mistreatment often includes getting the user addicted to the software through manipulation of dopemine levels and other tactics.

http://www.scientificrevenue.com/

https://usedopamine.com/

I am unfamiliar with the games you mention, but mobile games intended for children are often predatory, and Spotify is certainly not a good program for anyone to use.

> I suppose there will be issues with graphics

Probably..

> some apps might
> require connection to the internet (I will not allow those).

I don't know about the games, but Spotify will surely require a connection to the internet.

> Would it be feasible to
>
> 1: install games and/or music apps on an unsafe device (i.e. with
> google play installed)
> 2: extract the .apk
> 3: install the app on a replicated device?

Maybe, but as others have pointed out here, this would probably require you to bypass DRM, which is illegal. DRM imposes restrictions beyond those of copyright law. It also will not solve the problem that your daughter depends on proprietary software for entertainment, and perhaps to socialize. I can see how this would be a difficult problem to solve, and I can't imagine what it's like to have the responsibilites of being a parent. I will make some suggestions, but I hope it is clear that I am not telling you what to do and that I understand that you are a parent and I have no idea what that is like.

It might help to introduce your daughter to games that are free software and do not connect to a server. They do not necessarily have to be mobile games. In fact, it might be a good idea for her to use a desktop computer instead of a phone for as much of her computing as possible. The observation that phones are distacting and addicting is hardly an original thought, but this issue is actually more serious than this. It is not an unintended side-effect of an otherwise useful tool. Phones are designed that way on purpose, and as the technology becomes more sophisticated the problem will get worse.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silicon-valley-dystopia

Does your daugher have a desktop computer? Some might consider the age of five to be too early for a child to start using a computer, but if she has a phone then she is already using a computer, and a desktop computer might be healthier. I have on-and-off worked as a substitute teacher for preschool- through elementary-aged students, and I've seen students your daughter's age use both desktop computers and iBads. A difference is that desktop programs are generally intended to be used with a keyboard, while mobile programs attempt to restrict the use of language. I can see how this would make a phone easier to pick up for a child still learning to read, but children seem to enjoy using desktop computers anyway. I have never tried Trisquel Sugar TOAST

https://trisquel.info/en/download

but my understanding is that its desktop environment is intended to be healthy for children to interface with.

http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/What_is_Sugar%3F

I expect that a possible challenge is that if your daughter may be resistant to no longer using the proprietary software she is used to. A solution may be to instead introduce free software that might replace it and try to get her excited about the free software. I would expect that there are more libre games for desktop than for mobile. One of the other posters in this thread, onpon4, is a game developer, so in addition to the games she creates she may be able to recommend some. I don't know as much about it.

As for music, Spotify has some alluring conveniences, such as tracks being automatically selected and streamed without the need for decisions. However, there are also disadvantages to this. The idea of a favorite album, maybe even a favorite artist, is lost as the paradigm of a musical work is replaced with that of "content" in many small pieces used to fill time. This is not ideal for young chilren, for whom a normal part of their development is becoming fixated on certain music, films, and stories and experiencing them repeatedly. Your daughter may enjoy having CDs and a CD player (or playlists on a desktop computer) of her favorite music that can be played back as a continous and repeatable experience. A decent set of speakers that sound better than earbuds or a phone's internal speakers might also help make the experience preferable to Spotify.

Whether or not those details seem like a good solution, my general suggestion is to try to create positive experiences that do not rely on proprietary software, and to help her get more out of those experiences than she does out of proprietary software. Involving her friends may help, so that using less proprietary software is not isolating for her. The network effect is hard enough on adults trying to quite Facebook. I can't imagine what it's like for a child.

Again, I'm not a parent and I don't know you or your daughter, so it's totally possible that everything I just said is inapplicable to your situation. I hope it did not come across as me telling you what to do or implying that I know better than you. It is clear that you care about ensuring that your daughter's experiences with technology are safe and healthy, and I know you'll make the right decision for your family.

fbit

I am a member!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/07/2013

>I have never tried Trisquel Sugar TOAST

>https://trisquel.info/en/download

>but my understanding is that its desktop environment is intended to be healthy for children
>to interface with.

I installed Sugar on Debian for a 5 year old once and it was a terrible experience. Terrible for me installing the games and apps and maintaining the system (many of them wouldn't install and I could not find an easy way to debug). The interface was very clunky and counter intuitive, if I remember correctly the mouse pointer was oversized and difficult to achieve any kind of precision. It has a very interesting community component, but it is useless if there's nobody else using Sugar in the community. The 5 year old disliked it and was very frustrated trying to navigate the interface.

I removed it and installed Xfce, then downloaded all the apps and games and placed nice looking icons on the desktop (I forget which programs exactly, Tux Paint, some that have many games inside them, a Mr. Potato app, a note taking app (I think Leafpad). Tux Paint was very successful. Some touch typing learning programs were quite fun for the 5 year old too, especially the single letter typing challenges and the levels that dealt with familiarizing oneself with the keyboard.

Then the kid's parents gave her an old Android tablet full of games featuring the favorite Disney characters and other culture industry crap and the kid never used the laptop again. In this case the op is also the parent, so the story may have a happier ending.

Peer pressure at school can also make it tough. On the one hand I would not like my son/daughter to grow up manipulated by all the consumer crap (I find the Disney princesses ideology particularly pernicious), on the other hand I would not like my son/daughter to grow up feeling left out. Tough to find a like-minded community, though perhaps possible.

Aristophanes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/05/2017

Why is a desktop environment (or any other free software, for that matter) seemingly intended to be healthy for children to interface with named after such a poisonous (due to, among other reasons, its addictive characteristics) substance? The irony is striking.

chaosmonk

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I am a translator!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> The
> irony is striking.

Indeed. Hopefully the developers know more about HCI than dietetics.

Aristophanes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/05/2017

Surely, they (or any reasonable person, for that matter) don't think that sugar is beneficial for children, so their work, at least from a ideological point of view (despite their stated aims), in my opinion, is flawed.

chaosmonk

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I am a translator!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> Surely, they (or any reasonable person, for that matter) don't
> think that sugar is beneficial for children

I think that most people know that sugar is not particularly healthy and would not advise consuming it to excess. However, I think that most of them do not realize that it is more toxic than that, that it is addictive in a literal sense, or that a massive industry uses it to exploit people. You are right that it is similar to malicious computer interfaces in this way, and that it is an ironic name for the project.

However,

> from a ideological point of view (despite their stated aims),
> in my opinion, is flawed.

I think this is an overstatement. I don't know why they chose the name Sugar, but as far as I know it has nothing to do with advocating the consumption of sugar. A poorly chosen name does not undermine the value of their work. I'm glad to see someone reflecting on what makes a healthy interface. I am concerned that Replicant, Diaspora, and other free replacements for addictive proprietary software unintentionally implement some of the same addictive antifeatures in trying to recreate the functionality of the software they replace. Freedom 3 allows these antifeatures to be removed, but the first step in removing them is identifying them, and this is often nontrivial.

onpon4
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/30/2012

You're right, sugar is terrible for you, but we are naturally inclined to like it, regardless. In fact all energy gets converted to sugar (glucose), so it's not inherently evil. The problem is consuming it in excess, without the fiber that typically accompanies it in fruit.

Now, if it was called "candy" or something like that, then I would be more inclined to agree with you. But sugar itself is not necessarily evil. The intention behind the name is probably all the positive emotions we naturally associate with sweet-tasting foods.

onpon4
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/30/2012

Addendum: should have been a reply to the post above, not this one. Sorry about that.

FindEssential
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 08/23/2017

What you could do is use an apk downloader to remove the file from Google Play and then side load it on the Replicant device. Now, depending on the phone the app might not work due to the many limitations of Replicant, but you won't know until you try it.

An example: https://lifehacker.com/apk-downloads-lets-you-pull-apk-files-directly-from-goo-1456775931

In order to keep those sideloaded apps updated see: https://android.gadgethacks.com/how-to/get-easy-updates-sideloaded-android-apps-0174291/

The more straight forward solution is to work with your child to teach them about the dangers of software and why software freedom is important. Kids are a lot smarter than people give them credit for. The other point is if free software is a value of yours that you want to instill in them you shouldn't buy them compromised systems in the first place so that don't grow attached to their stickiness. That might be unpopular with your kid, but parenting isn't a popularity contest as I am sure you already know.

Abdullah Ramazanoglu
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 12/15/2016

Hard restrictions at that age might subliminally push her in the opposite direction. Instead, I would suggest spoiling her for choice of FOSS games.

I.e. drowning her in FOSS choice of programs, maybe along a couple of proprietary programs that she "must have".

CSS programs will probably suffer from graphics and will be slow, anyway, and will hopefully become boring for her when contrasted to rich and wisely selected (for her age) FOSS games portfolio on her phone. IOW, make the floor a bit "tilted" towards FOSS, and let her have a free reign.

Hopefully she will gradually and willingly switch from proprietary programs to FOSS ones, all by herself.

Being spoiled with alternatives is a better way than going cold turkey, if you ask me.

onpon4
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/30/2012

That's what I tried with my younger brothers. It didn't work. As soon as my mom got them laptops (which ran Windows), they abandoned all of it.

See, the problem is that my oldest brother was pushing the proprietary games he liked, and they liked those games too, much more than they liked any libre game they had ever played. And who can blame them? Really, how many great libre games can you think of? Tux Typing is great for learning how to type, and I think some of the games we have are great, but a lot of them just feel like poor-man's versions of proprietary games (e.g. Minetest, SuperTux, SuperTuxKart, Freeciv... the list goes on).

This might seem pessimistic, but I don't think, given the current ecosystem, we are ever going to get children to stick to libre software. We need tons more great libre games. Not crappy educational activities, real games, which don't just feel like clones of better proprietary games. More games like these:

* MegaGlest
* Warzone 2100
* Jump'n'Bump
* Adanaxis
* Alex the Allegator 4
* Armagetron Advanced
* Battle for Wesnoth
* Project: Starfighter
* Criticalmass
* FreeDink
* Dopewars
* Extreme Tux Racer
* Torus Trooper
* Tumiki Fighters
* Garden of Coloured Lights
* Globulation 2
* Gunroar
* Holotz Castle
* Konquest
* Kobo Deluxe
* Meritous
* MirrorMagic
* Xonotic
* One Is Enough
* OpenClonk
* Overgod
* Powermanga
* Ri-li
* NetHack
* Endgame: Singularity
* SnowballZ
* Teeworlds
* The Mana World
* Funguloids

That's the list I came up with scrolling through the "Games" section on Trisquel. All of these games are fantastic; by all means, introduce these to your kids! But we need more of them, and we need less of the lame clones that just leave players wanting the game that inspired them. (Note: clones are okay if they're better. That's the key. That's why I've listed Criticalmass and Armagetron Advanced. Funny story: Armagetron Advanced was one of my brothers' favorite games.)

Ignacio.Agullo
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/29/2009

Thanks a lot for the list onpon. I knew only one fourth of that
games (that addictive Armagetron Advanced!) and am on the process of
installing the rest.

--
Ignacio Agulló · name at domain

onpon4
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/30/2012

I've decided to immortalize and expand on this on my website:

http://onpon4.github.io/articles/libre-games.html

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 10/31/2014

The only thing one should need on their computer is ioquake3 (with the proprietary artwork, yep, that's right) for the multiplayer and spearmint for the fake multiplayer (bots). :P

https://ioquake3.org/
https://clover.moe/spearmint/

See you on the STATIC VOID server. I am the one that constantly frags ur ass \o/

Chicuei
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/04/2016

F-Droid have some fun game like Pixel Dungeon: pixeldungeon.watabou.ru
in any case, Yalp store (in F-Droid) let you install and use programs from the appstore without gmail account and gives you the .apk file :D

Remember to use only the programs that let you not get trapped in the world while using Free Sotfware.

noemu
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 03/25/2014

PixelDungeon is quite popular with young people :D