Who knew? Privacy is a concern for teenagers, study shows
Half of teenagers have avoided a mobile app due to concerns about personal information, new survey finds
IDG News Service - The current generation of teenagers seems willing to share anything on social media, but cares more about privacy than you think, according to a recent Pew study.
One in four teenagers have uninstalled a mobile app because they found out it was collecting personal information they didn't want to share, said a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.
Half of teenagers have avoided an app altogether on their cell phone or tablet due to concerns about personal information they would have to share in order to use it, the report also said.
The report did not call out specific app makers like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Tumblr. But privacy is today one of the crucial issues faced by those companies, as consumers question the level of information sites are able to gather about them.
Pew's survey was based on telephone interviews with 802 U.S. teenagers aged 12 to 17 and their parents. The survey did not focus exclusively on social apps, though participants said in focus group discussions that they primarily downloaded social media and game apps to their phones and tablets, in addition to music, news and weather apps.
Some teenagers took issue with specific app features. Nearly 50% said they had turned off location tracking on their cell phone or in an app because they were worried about other people or companies accessing that information, the report said.
Some didn't even understand why the app would need that information, and so they opted out. "An app wanted to use location services for some reason," one survey participant said in a focus group discussion, "but I didn't see the reason why."
In many cases, focus group participants said they did not allow an app to access their location unless they thought it was necessary, the report said.
Girls are more likely than boys to say they have turned off location tracking, the survey found. Among app downloaders, 59% of teenage girls reported having disabled location tracking, compared with just 37% of boys, the report said.
While they are concerned about companies' use of their information, some teenagers may be just as concerned about their parents' access, report authors suggested. In 2009 Pew found that about half of parents of teenage cell phone users used the phone to monitor their child's location in some way.
The survey's findings come as Internet companies like Facebook and Twitter continue to enhance their sites in an effort to keep users engaged, including teenagers.
The professional networking site LinkedIn now wants to attract younger users, with its introduction this week of university pages aimed at students.
In June the ephemeral photo messaging service Snapchat -- already very popular among teenagers -- launched SnapKidz for users even younger than 13.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Data Protection and Disaster Recovery with iSCSI and VMware Get this on demand webcast now
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Privacy White Papers | Webcasts