HomeNewsBiggest concern for app users: Privacy

Biggest concern for app users: Privacy

However, app developers are still not serious about the issue as only 19 per cent of top 340 apps link to privacy policies.

Most smartphone users are concerned about privacy while using mobile applications, a survey has found.

Facebook and Apple have recently faced privacy related issues for sharing user data. This may have led to heightened privacy concerns amongst smartphone users. According to the survey conducted by a private consultancy, TRUSTe, 38 per cent of smartphone users termed privacy as their “number one concern” when using mobile applications, with “nearly all” respondents stating that they want “more transparency and control over what personal information is collected and how it is shared.”

Only 38 per cent of respondents feel confident that mobile apps will protect their privacy, while 25 per cent believe that their app store stocks apps that safeguard their personal information.

But if we look at the top 340 free applications, only 19 per cent have a link to a privacy policy, which clearly demonstrates that people don’t really have control and there is no transparency as far as privacy is concerned.

These concerns are also having a real effect on application use. Some 40 per cent of those surveyed do not use mobile applications or mobile websites that ask for or use their personal information, while 38 per cent state that they do not access their online accounts via mobile devices at all.

Fran Maier, president and executive chair of TRUSTe says, “This survey makes it crystal clear that privacy concerns are a huge stumbling block to consumer usage of applications and websites on smartphones.”

The online survey of 1,000 users in the USA, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that other areas of worry included security (26 per cent), identity tracking (19 per cent) and sharing information “with or without permission” (14 per cent).

According to the poll, 85 per cent of customers want to “opt in” or “opt out” of targeted mobile advertisements, with 74 per cent stating that they do not like the idea of being tracked by advertisers.

Lack of consumer confidence can be judged by the fact that only 36 per cent of customers feel they have a choice regarding the collection and use of their location information; while less than one third of respondents said that their smartphone alerts them when location information is being gathered, a complaint that is significantly more common among iPhone users.

In India, however, the situation might be somewhat different as consumers here are not very concerned about their privacy yet, although awareness about it is gradually increasing.

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