Survey: Mobile app privacy fears continue to escalate
Forty-two percent of U.S. smartphone users identify mobile privacy and security as top concerns according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of privacy management firm TRUSTe.
Among 1,033 U.S. adults and 554 U.S. smartphone users ages 18 and older, 94 percent consider online privacy an important issue, with 55 percent saying that it is something they think of often. Eighty-five percent of smartphone owners said they will not download a mobile app if they don't trust it, and just 14 percent believe that app stores only make available apps that that safeguard their personal security. In addition, while 31 percent of respondents said they would share personal information in exchange for free apps, that percentage is down from the number of consumers willing to make the same exchange a year earlier.
Consumers also remain wary about behavioral advertising: While 62 percent of smartphone users are aware that advertisers track their mobile activities, only 1 percent likes it. Ten percent of smartphone owners said they would consent to sharing specific location information, Web browsing behavior, their home address or list of contacts with mobile apps.
Earlier this year, TRUSTe debuted TRUSTed Mobile Ads, a mobile ad system designed to give consumers greater control over how mobile marketers collect and use their personal information, complete with opt-out capabilities. The firm said TRUSTed Mobile Ads is a direct response to regulatory scrutiny of mobile app privacy practices and corresponding consumer concerns.
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