Based on a September report from Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 43% of mobile phone owners use applications. About 54% of app users report not installing apps due to privacy concerns, and 30% delete apps because of privacy concerns. App usage generally declines with age as caution about using apps rises. For example, 65% of mobile users aged 18-29 use apps compared to 53% aged 30-49 and 20% aged 50+. Only 49% of mobile phone users in the 18-29 age bracket have decided to uninstall an app. The percentage rises by almost 10% for those aged 30-49 and 50+. App deletion rates correlate with higher education: 45% for app users with high school diplomas, 57% with some college education, and 60% with college degrees.
One big privacy concern with apps is location tracking. Although location tracking may be used for targeted marketing, 19% of mobile phone owners have deleted the location tracking feature on their phones. This percentage rises to 30% among smartphone users. In addition, mobile phone users often take further steps to safeguard their privacy. For instance, 41% of consumers back up their contacts, photos, and other files in case their phones are lost or stolen, and some clear the browsing history on their phones to prevent tracking (32%). A study at UC Berkeley found that mobile phone owners safeguard their security by being cautious about letting other people use their phones.