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    Pew Internet & American Life Project: Users Uninstall Mobile Apps Over Privacy Concerns

    The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released a new survey (Pew pdf; archive pdf) concerning “Privacy and Data Management on Mobile Devices.” Among other things, the survey finds: “More than half of app users have uninstalled or decided to not install an app due to concerns about personal information.” Here are more findings in the report by Pew’s Jan Lauren Boyles, Aaron Smith and Mary Madden:

    Many cell phone users take steps to manage, control, or protect the personal data on their mobile devices. In a new study by the Pew Internet Project of how cell phone users manage their mobile data, we asked about five specific behaviors in which cell phone owners might engage. Two of these activities were asked of the 43% of cell owners who download cell phone applications. Among this group, representing 38% of the adult population, we found that:

    • 54% of app users have decided to not install a cell phone app when 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.

    Outside of some modest demographic differences, app users of all stripes are equally engaged in these aspects of personal information management. Owners of both Android and iPhone devices are also equally likely to delete (or avoid entirely) cell phone apps due to concerns over their personal information.

    Cell phone owners take a number of steps to protect access to their personal information and mobile data […]

    Nearly one third of cell owners have experienced a lost or stolen phone, and 12% have had another person access the contents of their phone in a way that made them feel their privacy was invaded […]

    Smartphone owners are generally more active in managing their mobile data, but also experience greater exposure to privacy intrusions.

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