As teens gain access to mobile devices, they have embraced app downloading. But many teen apps users have taken steps to uninstall or avoid apps over 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 learned 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.
About the Survey
The 2012 Teens and Privacy Management Survey sponsored by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 802 teens aged 12 to 17 years-old and their parents living in the United States. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The interviews were done in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source, LLC from July 26 to September 30, 2012. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ±4.5 percentage points.
In collaboration with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, this report includes quotes gathered through a series of exploratory in-person focus group interviews about privacy and digital media, with a focus on social media sites, conducted by the Berkman Center’s Youth and Media Project (www.youthandmedia.org) between February and April 2013. The team conducted 24 focus group interviews with a total of 156 participants across the greater Boston area, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara (California), and Greensboro (North Carolina) beginning in February 2013.