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Pew App Survey: Lack of Privacy Can Be Turn-Off for Teens

Approximately half of teenagers who use apps
say they have avoided particular apps due to concerns about privacy.

That is according to a just-released 2012
survey from the Pew Research Center's Internet and
American Life Project. It is the project's
first study of the degree to which teens avoid, uninstall or disable apps due
to privacy concerns.

"Teens are on the
front lines of figuring out the complex world of privacy management of on their
mobile devices," said the study's lead author, Mary Madden, in releasing the
report. "They realize that cell phones can be used to monitor their
whereabouts, and they will avoid apps if they feel like the data requests are
unnecessary or excessive."

The study's key
takeaways are:

  1. 1, 51% have avoided
    some apps for privacy reasons, with younger teens 12-13, more likely to have
    done so (56%) than older teens (49%), though that is within the margin of
  2. 2. 26% have
    uninstalled an app because it was collecting personal information they didn't
    want collected.
  3. 3. 46% have turned
    off location tracking features on their cell phone or in an app, with girls far
    more likely to have done so (59%) than boys (37%).

Pew points out that
some of the privacy concerns associated with teens turning off tracking may
involve their own parents. As far back as 2009, Pew points out, studies showed
about half of the parents were cell phones to monitor their child's location.

The results are
based on a phone survey of 802 parents and their 802 teens conducted July 26-Sept. 30, 2012. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.5
percentage points.