Kid on The Phone! Toward Automatic Detection of Children on Mobile Devices


Studies have shown that children can be exposed to smart devices at a very early age. This has important implications on research in children-computer interaction, children online safety and early education. Many systems have been built based on such research. In this work, we present multiple techniques to automatically detect the presence of a child on a smart device, which could be used as the first step on such systems. Our methods distinguish children from adults based on behavioral differences while operating a touch-enabled modern computing device. Behavioral differences are extracted from data recorded by the touchscreen and built-in sensors. To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed methods, a new data set has been created from 50 children and adults who interacted with off-the-shelf applications on smart phones. Results show that it is possible to achieve 99% accuracy and less than 0.5% error rate after 8 consecutive touch gestures using only touch information or 5 seconds of sensor reading. If information is used from multiple sensors, then only after 3 gestures, similar performance could be achieved.

Computer & Security, Volume 84, July 2019, Pages 334-348