Here you’ll find relevant application data privacy research that can help inform your business decisions as an app developer.

In December 2011 the Future of Privacy Forum tested the top 30 paid and free apps across three leading operating systems (iOS, Android and Blackberry). Key findings include the following:

1.  Free apps are twice as likely to have privacy policies than paid apps.

2.  Free apps make their privacy policies easier to find than paid apps.

3.  The percentage of paid apps that have privacy policies has slightly increased since the May 2011 survey conducted by FPF.

The Future of Privacy Forum analyzed the top 30 paid mobile apps across the leading operating systems (iOS, Android, and Blackberry) and discovered that out of the top 30 applications, 22 of them — nearly three-quarters– lacked even a basic privacy policy.  A previous analysis of mobile apps by the Wall Street Journal this past December, found that forty-five of the top 101 i-Phone or Android apps they assessed did not provide privacy policies on their websites or inside the apps at the time of testing.

3) TRUSTe Mobile Privacy Research (April, 2011)

In the spring of 2011 TRUSTe announced the results of a nationwide Harris Interactive survey of one thousand smartphone users regarding privacy and their use of mobile applications and mobile websites.

The vast majority of survey respondents (98%) believe that privacy is an important issue when using a mobile device and they want more transparency and choice over the personal information mobile apps and websites collect and share, especially as it relates to targeted advertising and geo-location data. Additionally, more than 1 in 3 of consumers (38%) identified privacy as their number one concern when using mobile applications, followed by security (26%) and identity tracking (19%).

Lastly, only 1 in 3 consumers indicated that they feel in control of their personal information when using their smartphones, demonstrating a significant opportunity to build consumer privacy trust on the mobile platform through stronger protections like those offered by TRUSTe’s mobile privacy certification program.


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