GSMA: Mobile privacy fears hamper app downloads in Latin America | Mobile Industry | Mobile Entertainment

GSMA: Mobile privacy fears hamper app downloads in Latin America

GSMA: Mobile privacy fears hamper app downloads in Latin America
Zen Terrelonge


Industry / Market Data / April 25th 2013 at 10:58AM

Stands to fall behind other markets if operators don't address the problem.

The global app market is worth $29 billion, but the GSMA has surveyed 4,500 mobile users in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico to find that they're hesitant to use the services for fear of personal data attacks.

88 per cent of respondents are concerned that apps will collect personal information without consent, while half of that number would limit app use until better security is enforced.

And operators stand to come under fire, with 60 per cent of respondents claiming they would complain to their networks if privacy was invaded while using an app, regardless of who was responsible for the infringement. Just 31 and 34 per cent would contact the app store and app developer, respectively.

The report notes that Latin America could fall behind the rest of the world in the technology adoption race if these aren't addressed. Operators are advised to discover and solve the problems with the government and policy makers.

Additionally, 92 per cent of respondents wish to be consulted before their location is shared with an app or service, but 47 per cent of the most popular apps transmit the phone's UDID (unique device identity) to third parties without permission.

Tom Phillips, chief government and regulatory affairs officer at the GSMA, said: "It's not the case that legislators can simply cut and paste old-world data protection rules into the modern mobile apps market. They need to consider solutions that reflect the new market realities, such as the privacy icons currently being developed in the USA, which will provide consumers with simple ways to understand their privacy choices and control their data.

"The rules regarding location privacy need to apply equally to all the different players who offer such services. Today this lack of consistency is putting consumers' data at risk. In markets across Latin America, new privacy laws are being developed. The GSMA calls on governments to ensure that all new legislation applies equally to all industry players."