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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 08, 2016

Number of app users reluctant to share personal data is rising

Consumers are increasingly concerned about privacy and security when using mobile apps and this has become the biggest barrier to grown across the mobile ecosystem, according to a new report released by the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF). Many mobile users are prepared to pay a premium to guarantee their data is not shared.

by Helen Leggatt

The MEF's third annual "Global Consumer Trust Report" reveals that more than a third (36%) of mobile users are reluctant to download and use more apps due to concerns about the privacy and security of their personal data. More than half (52%) of the 5,000 mobile users surveyed across several countries (Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, the UK and the USA) said they deleted apps that worried them.

More than a third (38%) stopped using some apps altogether and a fifth took things further by leaving negative reviews and alerting friends of their concerns.

The number of mobile users that are uncomfortable with the idea of sharing personal data with app and mobile service providers is rising. In 2013, 21% were happy to share personal data with an app but, by 2015, this had fallen significantly to just 6%. The latest survey reveals that 41% of those surveyed identified themselves as 'reluctant sharers'.

Such is the concern among mobile users that almost half (47%) would pay extra for an app that guaranteed they would not share personal data with third parties and 17% would be willing to pay a premium of more than 10% to ensure the security of their data.

"We must cooperate as an industry to go beyond simply being 'good enough' at protecting our customers," said Harvey Anderson, Chief Legal Officer for AVG Technologies, who collaborated with the MEF for the report.

"Transparency and education need to go hand-in-hand with an industry wide commitment to establish and hold each other to human-centered principles. People should not have to trade privacy and security to benefit from the wealth of data-enabled services that are available now and on the horizon, and it is up to us to create the right future."

A study last year commissioned by Skyhook Wireless found that while 83% of app users say that location is key to app experience 40% are hesitant to share such data and 18% turn off location services for all apps.

The reason for doing so, among 50%, is down to concerns about privacy, while 23% don't see the value of location data and 19% worry turning on location services will drain their device's battery.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: apps, mobile, privacy

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