Teens Reject Apps That Collect Personal Information

Many teens download apps, but eschew the ones that collect too much data, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.

Almost six in 10 teens (58%) say they have downloaded apps to smartphones or tablets. But more than half of that group (51%) say they decided against downloading an app after learning that the app would gather personal information. Around four in 10 teen app users (26%) say they have uninstalled apps due to privacy concerns.

Many teens were particularly concerned about geolocation tracking, with 46% of teen app users saying they disabled location tracking features on their cell phones. Girls were especially likely to do so, with 59% of them saying they turned off location tracking.

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Overall, boys were more likely than girls to download apps, with 79% of boys installing apps, compared to 62% of girls. Family income also correlated with app downloading; 79% of teen cell phone owners in homes with at least $50,000 in annual income downloaded apps, compared to 60% of teens in homes with less than $50,000 in annual income.

The report is based on a recent survey of 668 teen cell phone or tablet users between the ages of 12 and 17.

"Teenagers with Smartphones" photo from Shutterstock.

2 comments about "Teens Reject Apps That Collect Personal Information".
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  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 23, 2013 at 9:08 a.m.

    What the tipping point number to reach a Do Not Track majority and it becomes the standard ? How many realize that fbeast, twitting, google et al are also tracking them ?

  2. Therran Oliphant from xAd Inc., August 23, 2013 at 12:45 p.m.

    I would love to see the details of this study. First off, 668 kids is hardly statistically significant, but possibly direction - at best. I would frame the survey questions in terms of value. What we've seen, is all users that understand tracking, geolocation, et al, are not willing to give that information if the perceived value of the service is low. If they get something in return e.g., Weather apps, social check-in, hyperlocal news/info then all consumers are more likely to allow it.

    Moral of the story: Create a need for the location tracking in your app that gives added value to the consumer and this is moot.

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