Increasingly native apps are developed to request access to a mobile user’s personal data. While accessing personal data could improve the performance and features of the mobile application, users tend to find it to be extremely annoying. Most developers assume that users click right through these screens without paying much notice, but this is not the case. In fact, a recent study done by Pew Research Center shows that more than half of mobile app users have uninstalled or avoided apps due to concerns about their personal data being collected.
Many developers write into the agreements or Terms of Service that the app may:
- Pass on your information to third parties
- Access your social networks, email, phone
- Share your information with other apps
And these types of permissions are essentially scaring users away. According to the PEW study:
“54% of app users have decided to not install a cell phone app when they discovered how much personal information they would need to share in order to use it. 30% of app users have uninstalled an app that was already on their cell phone because they learned it was collecting personal information that they didn’t wish to share. Taken together, 57% of all app users have either uninstalled an app over concerns about having to share their personal information, or declined to install an app in the first place for similar reasons.”
This is a major red flag to mobile app developers. If you are looking to develop a successful native app, you may want to rethink your TOS agreement or the permissions your app requests, if they aren’t absolutely vital to the functions of the application. This study emphasizes the importance of privacy to end users. Developers that utilize security testing may want to reassure users that their app has been thoroughly tested for risks or vulnerabilities. The more an app developer can relieve users that their data will be kept private and secure – the better.
Do apps requesting access to your personal information scare you off? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.