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Friday, February 22, 2013

Only a third of consumers are comfortable sharing personal data with an app

Just 37% of consumers are comfortable sharing personal data with an app, according to a new survey. The MEF Global Privacy Report 2013, which was carried out in partnership with On Device Research, asked 9,500 people from ten countries about the use of personal information by mobile app providers.

However, most consumers believe that security around data is robust; only 18% said they weren’t confident that their personal information was being protected.

The full announcement is below.


MEF Global Privacy Report 2013 highlights consumer need for transparency in mobile apps

70 per cent of consumers insist on knowing how their personal information is being used

MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, today announced the results of its first Global Privacy Report. Supported by AVG Technologies, the ten country study of 9,500 respondents reveals consumer attitudes towards the use of their personal information by mobile app providers.

Against a backdrop of recent high profile transgressions, the report was carried out in partnership with mobile specialists On Device Research to uncover global consumer understanding and perceptions of apps that gather and use personal data such as address book information and location.

The explosion of the apps ecosystem is driven by new business models where many apps are free or heavily discounted which of course consumers love, but where developers monetize the information they collect on their users.

The report identified:

• Only a third of consumers (37%) are comfortable sharing personal data with an app.

• The majority of consumers consider it important to know when an app is gathering (70%) and sharing (71%) their personal information.

• Perceptions are that security around data is robust with only 18% stating they are not confident that their personal information is being protected.

• Females and older consumers (over 35s) are more likely to have concerns over privacy.

• Growth markets including Brazil, Mexico and South Africa are least comfortable sharing personal information.

“Two main themes emerge from the research: Consumers demand transparency when apps are sharing their data, and importantly the app community needs to do a better job of explaining to consumers why it’s in their interests to do so,” commented Andrew Bud, MEF Global Chair.

“This lack of active transparency and education risks holding back the global mobile content and commerce market. MEF’s 2012 Global Consumer Survey found that 35 per cent of consumers do not purchase more often on their mobile because of a lack of trust. We are committed to working with our members to help the industry address this challenge,” he continued.

“For every one of us with a stake in the future of mobile apps, the MEF Global Privacy Report delivers a stark message that’s also filled with exciting opportunity,” said J.R. Smith, CEO, AVG Technologies. “We need to deliver transparency, security, and control or we fail. And maybe, amid an unprecedented wealth of opportunity for innovation and market creation, fail even to survive.”

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