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Consumers Abandoning Apps Over Privacy Concerns

Consumers Abandoning Apps Over Privacy Concerns

Study finds more than half of all app users have uninstalled or decided not to install apps for privacy reasons

September 9th, 2012 by Truman Lewis of ConsumerAffairs in News

Most apps are free or close to it, and many provide at least marginally useful services but a new study finds that privacy concerns are driving users away from apps.

The Pew Internet study found that 88% of American adults use cell phones. Some 43% of these cell owners now download apps to their phones but as apps grow more popular, privacy concerns are growing, the study found:

  • 54% of app users have decided to not install a cell phone app once they discovered how much personal information they would need to share in order to use it
  • 30% of app users have uninstalled an app that was already on their cell phone because they learned it was collecting personal information that they didn't wish to share

Taken together, 57% of all app users have either uninstalled an app over concerns about having to share their personal information, or declined to install an app in the first place for similar reasons. 

Owners of Android and iPhone devices are also equally likely to delete (or avoid entirely) cell phone apps due to concerns over their personal information.

Younger cellphone users were twice as likely as older users to report that "someone has accessed phone in a way that felt like privacy invasion." This poll follows another survey by Pew that found that users were becoming more active in managing their social media accounts. 

Male app users were slightly more likely than female app users to say they have uninstalled an app because it was sharing too much of their personal information. Men and women are equally likely to avoid apps entirely based on personal privacy concerns.