August 22, 2013

Teens and Mobile Apps Privacy

As more teens gain access to smartphones and tablets that are optimized for mobile applications, teens, like their adult counterparts, have embraced app downloading. But many teen apps users have taken steps to uninstall or avoid apps out of concern about their privacy. Location information is considered especially sensitive to teen girls, as a majority of them have disabled location tracking features on cell phones and in apps because they are worried about others’ access to that information. Here are some of the key findings in a new survey of U.S. teens ages 12-17:

  • 58% of all teens have downloaded apps to their cell phone or tablet computer.
  • 51% of teen apps users have avoided certain apps due to privacy concerns.
  • 26% of teen apps users have uninstalled an app because they found out it was collecting personal information that they didn’t wish to share.
  • 46% of teen apps users have turned off location tracking features on their cell phone or in an app because they were worried about the privacy of their information.
  • Among teen apps users, girls are considerably more likely than boys to say they have disabled location tracking features (59% vs. 37%).

Cite this publication: Mary Madden, Amanda Lenhart, Sandra Cortesi and Urs Gasser. “Teens and Mobile Apps Privacy.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (August 22, 2013) http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/08/22/teens-and-mobile-apps-privacy/, accessed on July 23, 2014.