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Report: Lack of Trust Holds Back Mobile Ecosystem

Consumers are becoming more and more reluctant to share their personal information online, including when it comes to mobile apps. New research has revealed that a full 41% of mobile users are "reluctant sharers" of their personal data.

This data point is translating into shifts in mobile app consumption. According to the Mobile Ecosystem Forum’s (MEF) Global Consumer Trust Report, 36% of consumers say that lack of trust is the number one reason they decide against using mobile apps.

Further, more than half (52%) of respondents have deleted apps that worried them, more than a third (38%) stopped using them altogether and a fifth (21%) have left negative reviews or have warned friends.

The survey also found that about half (47%) of consumers would pay extra for a privacy-friendly app; and another 48% would pay an extra 5% for an app that guaranteed that collected data would not be shared with others or used for marketing purposes. More than one in six (17%) are willing to pay a premium of more than 10% to ensure their data is protected.

In addition, fewer and fewer mobile users are comfortable with the idea of sharing personal information with app and mobile service providers. In 2013, 21% of those studied said they were always happy to share personal data with an app. By 2015, this has fallen to just 6%. Whereas the number of 'reluctant sharers' who do not wish to share personal information but know they must if they want to use the app leapt to 41% from 33% last year.

"MEF's 4th Global Consumer Trust Report highlights the significant consequences of consumers' growing concerns around data privacy and security on the mobile ecosystem,” said MEF CEO Rimma Perelmuter. “Behavioral trends among consumers, such as deleting apps or ceasing to use apps already downloaded, are clear indicators that the industry has to do more to build a sustained and trusted relationship with consumers.”

When it comes to device security, more than three-quarters of US consumers take formal steps towards security, such as using a pin code, anti-malware protection, password protection and biometrics—only 21% of mobile users currently take no action to secure their device.

About a fifth (23%) of mobile users globally who secure their devices now use more than one method of protection, with biometrics increasing from 7% to 11% year on year.

"We must cooperate as an industry to go beyond simply being 'good enough' at protecting our customers," said Harvey Anderson, chief legal officer for AVG Technologies, which sponsored the report. "Transparency and education need to go hand-in-hand with an industrywide commitment to establish and hold each other to human-centered principles. People should not have to trade privacy and security to benefit from the wealth of data-enabled services that are available now and on the horizon, and it is up to us to create the right future."

Photo © Georgejmclittle

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