RISMEDIA, April 29, 2011-Recently, at both APPNATION and the Mobile Marketing Strategies Summit, TRUSTe, an online privacy solutions provider, announced the results of a survey of 1000 smartphone users nationwide on issues relating to privacy and usage of mobile applications and mobile web sites. The Q1 2011 online poll-conducted by Harris Interactive-included responses that reveal attitudes and perceptions about mobile privacy, primary areas of concern and current safeguards being implemented.
Nearly all respondents agreed that privacy is an important issue when using a mobile device and that they want more transparency and control over what personal information is collected and how it is shared. In addition, smartphone users want more choices about advertising and geo-location tracking. Thirty-eight percent say privacy is the number one concern when using mobile applications, followed by security (26 percent); identity tracking (19 percent); and sharing information with or without permission (14 percent).
"This survey makes it crystal clear that privacy concerns are a huge stumbling block to consumer usage of applications and websites on smartphones," says Fran Maier, president and executive chair, TRUSTe. "As growth of the mobile market continues to surge, the industry needs a dedicated approach to educate consumers about how their data is being used and lets them make choices whether or not to engage. Overcoming consumer hesitancy and addressing increased lawmaker and regulator concerns require privacy practices that include notice and choice. TRUSTe is committed to extending those capabilities to the mobile platform."
Tracking and Behavioral Targeting are Hot Buttons
The survey shows that behavioral advertising is one of the top consumer issues relating to mobile marketing, with a majority being apprehensive about advertising tracking and wanting the choice not to participate. Specifically:
An educated 68 percent of respondents indicate being aware of advertisers tracking mobile activity and delivering personalized content as a result
A significant 85 percent want the choice to opt in or opt out of targeted mobile advertisements
Seventy-five percent of smartphone users say they do not like advertiser tracking
While location tracking remains a concern, the survey reveals that some smartphone users do permit access to their whereabouts
Only 36 percent feel they have a choice regarding the collection and use of their location information
Less than one-third of those surveyed say their smartphone alerts them when location information is being collected. (Note: this is significantly more common for iPhone users.)
Survey Shows Consumers Crave More Control before Fully Trusting Mobile Opportunities
A whopping 98 percent of consumers say having easy access to controls over their personal information in a mobile application is important
Only 38 percent feel confident that mobile applications will protect their privacy
Just 25 percent believe their application store only makes available applications that safeguard their privacy
While 90 percent say they have downloaded at least one application for their phone, 85 percent restrict at least some type of information sharing on mobile applications
Forty percent of those surveyed do not use mobile applications or mobile websites that ask for or use their personal information, with 38 percent saying they don't access their online accounts via mobile devices at all.
"Given the highly personal nature of the mobile phone, privacy remains a top priority for the MMA as we carry out efforts to provide standards and guidelines for marketers," says Michael Becker, managing director of North America for the Mobile Marketing Association. "The MMA is encouraged by the investment in privacy research, privacy management solutions and standards that many of its members are making. It is the continued implementation of these types of programs that keep consumer best interest in mind for the responsible and sustainable growth of the industry."
For more information visit http://www.truste.com/mobile.
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