We are a society that is plagued with fear. We put ratings on everything from movies, music & T.V. shows. I never thought that it would go this far though. A rating system for apps? Yes, last week the ESRB- Entertainment Software Rating Board and CTIA, the wireless industry conglomerate have decided that there is a need to have a content rating system exclusively for mobile apps. They feel as though that there is a need for this, so that parents can monitor the activity of their children. The number of children who have smartphones or tablets are increasing at an alarming rate.
There is a problem with this, Android and the iOS have decided to play hard ball and not cooperate. In order for this system to work, companies like Google and Apple must participate. The ESRB have made claims that six app markets are already on board to participate in the program. However I have heard no companies announcing this claim. Is it possible that Google and Apple are included in the six app markets?
Google and Apples markets already have a similar rating system. Google and Apple are not willing to allow a third party to manage or administer a rating to their already rated content. Why is there now a need for the ESRB and CTIA to be involved? Usually the ratings for an app are determined by either the app developers and or publisher.
With this new approach, now the developer or publisher would have to go through yet another process to have their app included in a market. This new process involves a questionnaire type of assessment, which would ask a series of questions designed to examine the apps content. Once this process is completed the appropriate ESRB rating is determined instantly by a computer.
This entails yet an even greater problem. How are they going to review, manage and rate the already hundred’s of thousandths of apps that have already been published? Not to mention the apps that are being considered and released to the markets on a daily basis. This is going to be a very rigorous and tedious process. Is it necessary though? What do you think?
Wayne Tempel is a freelance writer who has contributed to many articles on the web. You can follow him on Twitter.