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Study: Cellphone Users Concerned about App Privacy

September 6, 2012

More than half of Americans who use smartphone apps say they have decided against installing one after they found out how much personal data they would have to share, according to a study released Wednesday from the Pew Internet & American Life project.

According to an article from the Associated Press, these apps include maps, games and other programs, which, in some instances, want to know a person’s location using the phone’s GPS function.

Thirty percent of app users say they have removed an app after finding out how much personal information it collects, the article says.

In all, 88 percent of adults say they own some sort of mobile phone, and 43 percent of those download applications to their phones, an increase from 31 percent in 2011.

According to the AP article, other findings include:

  • 30 percent of smartphone owners say they turn off their phone’s locations tracking feature because they worry about people or companies accessing this information.
  • Only 7 percent of basic cellphone owners turn off their phone’s location tracking.
  • 41 percent of all cellphone owners say they back up data on their phones – including photos and contacts.
  • Men were more likely than men to delete an app because of privacy concerns.
  • BlackBerry owners are the most likely to say they’ve lost their phone or had it stolen: 45 percent compared with 30 percent of iPhone owners and 36 percent of Android owners.
  • In all, nearly one-third of all mobile phone owners claim to have had a phone lost or stolen.

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