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App downloads hindered by lack of trust

Consumers are increasingly wary of downloading apps, according to a new report by mobile commerce community MEF (opens in new tab) and antivirus company AVG (opens in new tab).

The study is based on data from 15,000 mobile media users in 15 countries across five continents.

It explores the key areas of trust, privacy, transparency and security to identify their impact on mobile consumers, from purchasing a new device to downloading apps or paying for goods and services.

Among the findings are that almost half of all consumers surveyed (49 per cent) say a lack of trust limits the amount of apps they download, compared to 37 per cent last year. 72

72 per cent of mobile consumers are not happy sharing personal data such as their location or contact details when using an app and 34 per cent say a lack of trust prevents them from buying more goods and services using their mobile device.

Of the markets studied, the US experienced the largest increase in a lack of trust, at 35 per cent (up nine per cent year-on-year). Many consumers feel that app stores and device manufacturers should be taking greater responsibility for protecting their personal information.

30 per cent of respondents said this would give them greater trust in the platforms and 63 per cent said that they considered transparency important or extremely important (compared to 49 per cent last year).

Interestingly although the results show a high awareness of malware, caution surrounding it has decreased. Only 48 per cent of respondents said the threat of malware would make them think twice when downloading apps compared with 74 per cent last year.

"Building consumer trust is an integrated process," says Judith Bitterli, chief marketing officer at AVG Technologies.

"While the mobile industry across the board must step up and take responsibility for increasing transparency across user privacy policies, it is equally important that consumers take their own steps to educate and protect themselves in order to better protect their rights and understand their choices online.

"This research shows that while consumers are taking certain proactive steps towards greater protection there is still some way to go in order to ensure their privacy and security are not at risk".

More information about the report is available from the MEF website (opens in new tab).

Photo Credit: phloxii (opens in new tab)/Shutterstock (opens in new tab)

Ian Barker worked in information technology before discovering that writing about computers was easier than fixing them. He has worked for a staff writer on a range of computer magazines including PC Extreme, was editor of PC Utilities, and has written for TechRadar, BetaNews, IT Pro Portal, and LatestGadgets.