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TRUSTe Study Shows Many Consumers More Concerned About Mobile Privacy Than A Phone's Brand Or Screen Size; 76% Won't Download Apps They Don't Trust

Mobile privacy concerns increasing

  • 76% of smartphone users surveyed won't download an app they don't trust, (up from 68% in 2012)
  • Privacy is the primary concern for 20% of smartphone users when using mobile apps, second only to battery life at 45% - but more than other phone attributes, like brand (13%) screen size (11%), camera resolution (3%), weight (2%)
  • 54% of smartphone users are frequently or always concerned about privacy when banking online, the online activity causing mobile users the greatest concern, followed by shopping online (50%)

Awareness of mobile tracking is low

Awareness of mobile behavioural advertising is relatively low, and, regardless of awareness, the majority of those surveyed do not like tracking. Specifically:

  • 46% of smartphone users are not aware that tracking takes place on mobile (compared with 24% being unaware on the desktop)
  • 70% of smartphone users surveyed do not like the idea of being tracked on their mobile phones (compared with 47% on the desktop)

Mobile users are less willing to share personal data than a year ago

47% of smartphone users surveyed will not share any personal information in exchange for free or lower cost mobile apps. The study found that smartphone users are less willing to share personal data in general compared with TRUSTe's 2012 research. The vast majority of users will NOT share: contact information (98%); precise location data (92%).or web surfing behaviour (91%).

While offering apps for free or at a reduced cost will entice 35% of smartphone users to share some information, this is down from 40% in 2012 - and 47% still refuse to share any information.

Mobile users still hold themselves most responsible for protecting privacy

  • 69% of those surveyed responded that they are ultimately responsible for protecting their own privacy

Mobile users checking for privacy policies and trust marks

37% of smartphone users surveyed said they check to make sure whether a mobile app has a privacy policy, and nearly 17% check to see if the app has a privacy trust mark or seal. Additionally, 32% research apps online and 22% check with friends before sharing personal information.

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