A nationwide survey of 2,254
adults conducted by the Pew Internet Project revealed that among cellphone
owners who download applications, more than half decided to not install one
when they discover how much personal information they would need to share in
order to use it. Additionally, the study found almost one-third of app users
have uninstalled an app upon discovering it was collecting personal
information they didn’t want to share.
Owners of both Android and iPhone
devices are equally likely to delete or entirely avoid cellphone apps because
of concerns over personal information.
Cellphone owners take a number of
steps to protect access to their personal information and mobile data. Almost
half back up photos, contacts and other files on their phones; almost one-third
have cleared the browsing or search history on their phones; and almost one
in five have turned off the location tracking feature.
Nearly one-third of cellphone
owners have lost a phone or had one stolen, and 12% have had another person
access the contents of their phone in a way that made them feel their privacy
Cellphone users who have actually
experienced a lost or stolen phone are no more likely than average to back up
the contents of their phone, however.
Among cellphone users ages 18 to
24, almost half report that their phone has been lost or stolen, and almost one-quarter
said that someone else has accessed their phone in a way that compromised
Smartphone owners are especially
vigilant when it comes to mobile data management. Six in 10 smartphone owners
say they back up the contents of their phone, half have cleared their phone’s
search or browsing history, and one-third say they have turned off their
phone’s location tracking feature. Despite these steps, smartphone owners are
also twice as likely as other cellphone owners to have had someone access
their phone in a way that made them feel like their privacy had been invaded.
Owners of smartphones and more basic phones are equally likely to say their
phone has been lost or stolen.