More than half of mobile application users have uninstalled or avoided certain apps due to concerns about the way personal information is shared or collected by the app, according to a nationally representative telephone survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
In all, 88% of U.S. adults now own cell phones, and 43% say they download cell phone applications or “apps” to their phones. Among app users, the survey found:
- 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.
About the Survey
The results reported here come from a nationwide survey of 2,254 adults (age 18 and older) between March 15-April 3, 2012, including interviews on landline and cell phones and conducted in English and Spanish. The overall sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. Some 1,954 cell users were interviewed in this sample and many of the results published here involve that subset of users. The margin of error for data involving cell users is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.