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MEF Perceptions Smartphone Data Privacy Security June2021While many smartphone users spend a lot of time checking their phones, that doesn’t mean they feel that the apps on their phones keep their data and privacy secure. Indeed, a recent report [download page] from the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) found that most smartphone users do not believe their needs are being met when it comes to mobile app privacy and data security.

The majority of global smartphone users surveyed believe that it is very or extremely important for mobile apps and services to respect their privacy (67%), keep their data secure (66%) and give them control of their personal data used by the apps or services (62%). However, far fewer agreed that mobile apps actually do respect their privacy (39%), keep their data secure (39%) or give them control of their personal data (38%).

Indeed, respondents report that they have concerns about broader risks in regards to their smartphones and going online. These include being defrauded or losing money (49%), cybercriminals gaining access to their data (49%) and someone gaining access to their mobile (47%). Fewer expressed concern over companies sharing or selling their data (39%) or companies experiencing a data breach (33%).

In response to these concerns, 84% have taken some preventative actions such as changing their settings or installing anti-virus software. Furthermore, concerns over privacy or security have led 37% to delete an app or service, while others avoid installing an app (33%) or stop using an app or service (29%).

There is some good news. About two-fifths (43%) say that they share their personal data online but get valuable services in return. Many believe that there has been improvement in options to keep personal data private while online (43%), for security against financial fraud on the internet (43%) and in safety against malware or viruses (44%).

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a January 20201 survey of 6,500 smartphone users across 10 markets: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US.

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