Banking and SMS content dominate smartphone owners’ security fears

26 Nov 2013

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Smartphone owners are more concerned about companies having access to their online banking activities and the content of their texts and emails than they are about data collected around apps and web surfing, new research claims.

The study of smartphone owners in the UK by the IAB found that nearly half (46pc) of smartphone owners feel concerned about their privacy when using the internet on their mobile phone.

Some 75pc of smartphone owners want companies to be really clear on the data they hold and 91pc say being in control of who gets access to their mobile internet data is important to them.

When asked, more than half (54pc) claimed to have taken steps to protect their personal data on their mobile phone. Measures such as deleting text messages (50pc) and browser history (45pc) are much more commonplace than those related to advertising – such as opting out of sharing data with third party companies (23pc) or opting out of tailored marketing messages (29pc).

Consumers crave clarity

IAB’s public policy manager, Alex Scott said: “When it comes to mobile devices, privacy means a lot of different things in different contexts to people. From this research we also know that consumers are taking measures to address these specific privacy concerns themselves.

"However, the study also shows consumers crave clarity on data collection and what it’s used for. We have a collective responsibility to give consumers more control; as such we’re working to address transparency and control for mobile advertising privacy, to give consumers a consistent experience across devices.”

The research revealed that a significant amount of smartphone owners do recognise the benefits of mobile advertising.

Nearly four in 10 (39pc) would expect many mobile services to disappear without advertising, while nearly half (48pc) of 16-24-year-olds said they are happy to see relevant advertising if it means a better quality service.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com