More than half of users of applications on smartphones are moving away from some of them because they are concerned about the protection of their personal data, according yo a U.S. study published on Wednesday. In this study, 43% of Americans who owns a mobile phone say they download apps. About 54% of users of these applications for smartphones do not install an application when they find out the amount of personal information they need to share to use it, according to this study by the Pew Internet Project, which focuses on the U.S. . Moreover, 30% of users have even uninstalled an application on their phone after realizing that it was collecting data they do not want to share.
The data collected is about the same when it comes to Apple iPhone owners or users of Google's Android system, still according to this study. Mobile apps are "gateways that are becoming more and more important to communicate and use online services," said Mary Madden, a researcher and co-author of the report. "The way a mobile application manages those personal data is something that users take into account when they select an applications". This study also reveals that many people anticipate the loss or theft of their phone. Nearly 41% back up their photos, contacts, and other files in their mobile on another device and 32% delete their browsing history. In addition, 19% of users have disabled their gps function because they are worried that others might access this information. According to this study, nearly one-third of smartphone users have already lost or were robbed of their device, and 12% feel that their privacy has been invaded by the use of their phone by a third party.
This study is part of a climate of growing concern among legislators and groups of civil liberties on the possible collection of personal information on the internet without the agreement of the people concerned. "The popularity of smartphones has dramatically changed the relationship between the user and their phone versus the control and conservation of personal data", said Aaron Smith, co-author of the study. "The wealth of intimate details stored in those smartphones makes them comparable to the diaries of the past. The information they contain is difficult to replace if lost, and potentially embarrassing if it falls into the wrong hands," says Smith.