JARED ANGLE / THE EAGLE
School of Communication Professor Jan Boyles found over half of adult smartphone users have avoided or uninstalled apps due to the amount of personal information they require users to share, according to her report published Sept. 5.
Approximately 30 percent of smartphone users also disabled location tracking on their phones, which was 23 percent more than users of traditional cell phones, the report said.
Boyles surveyed the privacy habits of smartphone users for the Pew Internet and American Life Project, co-authoring several reports that explore the privacy issues accompanying thousands of smartphone apps available on the market.
While some apps such as Facebook or Twitter track a user’s location through Wi-Fi and cellular signals to add a location to a status update, other apps like Draw Something or Pinterest may ask the user to link them with a social networking or email account, according to The New York Times.
Users are not required to include their location or connect to services to use most apps. However, opting in to a service allows the app user to connect more quickly to friends and also removes requests to sign up for the service, according to The New York Times.
Jeff Della Serra, a junior in the School of Communication, said he was concerned when many of his iPhone apps asked to use his location.
“I didn’t feel very comfortable with it at first and I didn’t like it,” Della Serra said.
He said he became more comfortable with the location features later on as the convenience of listing his location on the apps outweighed the risks.
Erin Cunningham, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she takes the time to opt out of the tracking systems.
“If you don’t really have a choice, then I’m just probably not going to use something like that,” Cunningham said.
The convenience of services such as Apple’s Game Center overshadowed earlier privacy concerns for Dylan Caruth, a junior at the Kogod School of Business.
“We’re all used to signing up for new things on the Internet.”
Correction: This article previously misidentified Professor Jan Boyles’ gender.