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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : September 06, 2012

Dislike of data-sharing drives over half of mobile users to ditch apps

Some mobile apps such as maps and games collect a user's personal details or even track their location. More than half of Americans who use such apps have thought twice about using one once they learned just how much information they were required to share.

by Helen Leggatt

A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reveals that 54% of app users in the U.S. have decided against installing an app once they became aware of how much information they would need to share in order to use it.

Thirty percent had removed an app after finding out its data-sharing requirements.

The national survey of 2,254 U.S. adults found no difference in behavior between Android and Apple users with both equally likely to remove or not install an app for privacy reasons.

When asked about their personal data management on mobile devices it became evident that users are taking steps to protect their data. Just over 40% back up photos, contacts and other files in case their device is stolen, 32% clear their browser and search history and 19% turn off location-tracking features so businesses and other individuals can not track their whereabouts.

Earlier this year a study from think tank Future of Privacy Forum revealed that significantly more mobile app developers are now providing privacy policies for their apps and for how users' data will be used.

The number of free apps with a privacy policy in the iOS App Store doubled in the nine months to June 2012 from 40% to 84% and the number of paid apps with a privacy policy increased from 60% to 64%.

On Google Play, where the number of free apps with a privacy policy was already relatively high at 70% back in September, 2011, the number stood at 76% as of June this year and paid app privacy policies went from 30% to 48%.

Tags: consumer behavior, data collection, data management, data-sharing, mobile apps, mobile privacy, personal data, privacy issues, study, U.S.

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