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Study reveals data privacy concerns over geolocation apps

04 Apr 2012 11:26 BST Back
Study reveals data privacy concerns over geolocation apps
DMA News

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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. 

Posted by

Smarayda Christoforou

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