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40% of Top Selling Smartphone Apps Have No Privacy Policy

By the end of the year 2016, it is estimated that the number of smartphone users will reach 2.08 billion. By the end of the year 2020, the number of smartphone users will rise to 6.1 billion approximately. Here are some more interesting statistics regarding the so called smartphone apps.

  • 20% of the top 150 free iPhone apps don’t have any privacy policy
  • 26% of the top 150 free iPad apps don’t have any privacy policy
  • 17% of the top 228 free Android apps don’t have any privacy policy

Well, these are staggering statistics aren’t they? According to a study published in Forbes, more than half of the smartphone apps, including free and paid, have no written privacy policy.

It is heartening to note that 70% of the 1055 smartphone apps currently available for iPhones and android phones do have a written privacy policy of their own.

Free vs. Paid Privacy Applications for Smartphones

In a survey of about 4,000 (3,939 to be precise), smartphone users living in the United States and the United Kingdom, only 25% of the users seemed to have taken privacy seriously, with downloading app blockers, only during the December 2015 to February 2016 period. That’s during the festive season of Christmas.

Another interesting aspect is that generally people don’t know much about internet privacy. They don’t have any knowledge about what kind of information do these so called app providers and third party software vendors are collecting from them. Privacy is really a big deal for the smartphone users. One-third of the respondents held the point of view that these so called advertisers don’t collect any data at all. Well, it seems that they are living in a fools’ paradise.

Only 21% of the participants, did opine that the so called app publishers and advertisers tend to collect everything from the users. The collected information ranges from credit card information, email addresses, interests, behaviors, likes and dislikes, and even the key-stroking behavior of the smartphone users.

Consumers' Perception about Data Collection

It is also interesting to note that most smartphone apps that are available absolutely free of cost, generally don’t have a privacy policy. Therefore, this fact should not come to our esteemed readers as a surprise that technology companies don’t have any solid plan to invest in privacy policy making. And more importantly, paid apps are essentially lacking any privacy policy at present.

It is interesting to note that free apps enjoy more downloads as compared to the paid ones. The free apps are more sophisticated as compared to the paid smartphone apps. Only 10% of the apps are available for download on payment.

Subway Surfers, a free app is ranked 27th in the list of top android apps, has got 19 million reviews and about 500 million to 01 billion downloads. Meanwhile, Nova Launcher Prime, a paid app, ranked 5th in the same list has got 188,000 reviews and 01 to 05 million installs.

Free apps tend to get in more revenue in terms of advertising, therefore, there is no privacy policy available. On the other hand, paid apps tend to generate revenue through the download, for which the customers have to pay.

What the results present is somewhat a reasonable assessment of why free apps in particular don’t have a privacy policy. But that does not mean that privacy policy is not important at all. There is no doubt about the importance of privacy in this digital age. We simply are not in a position to deny the importance of privacy. There is still a strong need of privacy to be taken seriously on part of the so called technology companies.

 

Tags : apps.Privacysmartphones