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Smartphone users reject apps over privacy issues

Posted on Sep 06, 10:08PM | IANS

Smartphone users are rejecting or uninstalling some apps because of concerns over intrusive nature of collecting personal information, according to a US survey.

The Pew Internet Project survey found that 54 percent of mobile users have decided to not install an app when they stumbled on the possibility of having to share personal information in case they use it.

Also 30 percent of app users have uninstalled an app that was already on their cell phone because they learned it was collecting personal information of a sensitive nature.

Researchers found the smartphone users are increasingly concerned about how much their apps are tracking them. Researchers found 54 percent of users decided not to install an app based on privacy issues, reports the Daily Mail.

Researchers found the smartphone users are increasingly concerned about how much their apps are tracking them. The survey comes amid growing concern among lawmakers and civil liberties groups that personal information may be collected by phones and other mobile devices, often without their knowledge.

The Pew survey found that owners of both Android and iPhone devices are also equally likely to delete or avoid apps due to concerns over their personal information.

"As mobile applications become an increasingly important gateway to online services and communications, users' cell phones have become rich repositories that chronicle their lives," said Mary Madden, research associate and co-author of the report.

"The way a mobile application handles personal data is a feature that many cell phone owners now take into consideration when choosing the apps they will use," added Madden.

The survey noted that many users are concerned that their phones could be lost or stolen and are taking steps to deal with such a scenario.

Forty one percent of cell owners back up the photos, contacts, and other files on their phone and 32 percent have cleared the browsing history or search history on their phone.

Also, 19 percent of cell owners have turned off the location tracking feature on their device because of concern about others accessing that information. It found nearly one third of cell owners have experienced a lost or stolen phone, and 12 percent have had another person access the contents of their phone in a way that made them feel their privacy was invaded.