64 Per Cent of Brits Worried About Safety of Smartphone Data

A graph showing public perception of how data is being used - click to enlarge
A graph showing public perception of how data is being used – click to enlarge

Concerns about privacy are significantly higher on smartphones than tablets or desktop, according to a report from IAB UK and Weve, with 64 per cent of UK smartphone owners worried about the safety of personal data stored on the device.

The survey of 2,000 UK smartphone owners, carried out by Kantar Media, found that 71 per cent of respondents want to know how to control data privacy on their smartphone. When asked if they had taken steps to protect their privacy, 54 per cent said yes – but this most commonly meant deleting text messages (50 per cent) and browser history (45 per cent), rather than more complex deleting or opt-out processes.

Despite the finding that 94 per cent of respondents use their smartphone to go online – and that for 25 per cent, its their primary device for accessing the web – data collected from the mobile web isnt a priority for smartphone users when it comes to privacy.

Anonymised internet usage data came ninth in a list of ten, with mobile banking understandably topping the list. Text messages and emails took second and third place, suggesting users are particularly concerned about the privacy of conversations.

Data and advertising
When asked about how they thought their data is used, 45 per cent were aware that it helps companies serve relevant content to them – the most common answer. Its worth noting, however, that the options provided were largely positive, so this might not fully reflect the public sentiment regarding privacy issues.

Only nine per cent of smartphone users would be happy to pay for digital content on their mobile, like apps, if it got rid of the ads – indicating an awareness of the value exchange of mobile ads. However, just 40 per cent said they appreciated that many mobile services would be unavailable without advertising.

When it came to SMS advertising, 63 per cent said it was acceptable to receive messages from a trusted source, narrowly beating their network operator, at 61 per cent. Just seven per cent were happy to receive unsolicited promotional messages.