Along with smartphone users expressing concern about whether mobile apps respect their privacy and keep their data secure, a great deal are worried that their mobile phone is listening in on them. A survey [download page] by Tinuiti of 2,000 US consumers found that 8 in 10 (79%) think their phone listens in on their conversations and makes product recommendations accordingly.
Although there is clear unease for many about whether their mobile phones are impinging on their privacy, there is some indication that consumers also see benefits in apps tracking their activity. While about half (51%) of the consumers surveyed believe that apps track users across apps and websites in order to sell it to other companies, 46% say it’s done in order to make their experience better. Nevertheless, there are others who believe there are more nefarious reasons for the tracking such as cyberstalking them (24%), determining their political affiliation (22%), telling “Big Brother” (18%) and reading their minds (18%).
The report also shows that the apprehension about divulging too much personal information that can be collected about them has led about three-quarters (74%) to be cautious about researching certain topics on their computer or device. Interestingly, despite voice control users saying privacy is an important concern for them, those respondents who use Smart Speaker devices like Alexa or Google Home to shop were less likely (57%) to say they were cautious about what they researched online.
What actions consumers take to shield their privacy online often differs with age. While the majority of respondents across all ages exercise caution when searching content, those under 40 were more likely to cover their webcam and take protective measures when visiting adult sites, and respondents over 40 were considerably more likely than younger respondents to not visit adult sites.
When it comes to the websites respondents trust most with their data, Amazon comes out on top, with more than half (55.3%) selecting it as one of the most trusted of the options provided. Google (43.7%) is the second-most trusted, trailed distantly by Facebook (28.2%) and other social channels (10%).
The full report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of more than 2,000 US consumers.