Study reveals data privacy concerns over geolocation apps
|04 Apr 2012 11:26 BST||Back|
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Over half (58%) of smartphone owners use location-based apps, despite having concerns about data privacy, according to a US survey by non-profit risk and security management experts ISACA.
Chief concerns include third-party use of personal information for marketing purposes (24%) and strangers knowing too much about their activities (24%). Personal safety is the next biggest concern (21%).
However, 43% of people do not read the agreements on apps before downloading them and, of those who do read the agreements, 25% believe these agreements are not clear about how location information is being used.
“Businesses that collect location-based data have a responsibility to define an ethical governance policy and communicate it transparently,” said Marios Damianides, past international president of ISACA and partner, Advisory Services, at Ernst & Young.
Applications with geolocation capabilities offer benefits such as precise navigation, location-based coupons or easy social check-ins. Nearly one-third (32%) of consumers in ISACA’s survey use location-based apps more than they did a year ago.
Getting directions (59%) and tagging photos on social media (44%) are the most popular location-based activities on a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
The next most popular activity is disabling location-based features on select apps and services (38%).
According to the ISACA white paper “Geolocation: Risk, Issues and Strategies,” malicious use of geolocation data can put individuals and enterprises at risk when information like gender, race, occupation and finances is combined with geolocation tags.