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Smart phone users more and more wary of invasion of privacy by apps

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Users of mobile devices are rejecting or uninstalling some apps because of concerns about how much personal and private information is collected, a US survey showed Wednesday.

The Pew Internet Project survey found that 54 percent of mobile users who download apps have decided to not install a cell phone app when they discovered how much personal information they would need to share in order to use it.

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Additionally, 30 percent of app users have uninstalled an app that was already on their cell phone because they learned it was collecting personal information that they did not want to share.

The survey comes amid growing concern among US lawmakers and civil liberties groups that personal information may be collected by phones and other mobile devices, often without their knowledge.

The Pew survey found that owners of both Android and iPhone devices are also equally likely to delete or avoid apps due to concerns over their personal information.

“As mobile applications become an increasingly important gateway to online services and communications, users’ cell phones have become rich repositories that chronicle their lives,” said Mary Madden, a research associate and co-author of the report.

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“The way a mobile application handles personal data is a feature that many cell phone owners now take into consideration when choosing the apps they will use.”

The survey noted that many users are concerned that their phones could be lost or stolen and are taking steps to deal with such a scenario.

Some 41 percent of cell owners back up the photos, contacts, and other files on their phone and 32 percent have cleared the browsing history or search history on their phone.

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Also, 19 percent of cell owners have turned off the location tracking feature on their device because of concern about others accessing that information.

It found nearly one third of cell owners have experienced a lost or stolen phone, and 12 percent have had another person access the contents of their phone in a way that made them feel their privacy was invaded.

“The rise of the smartphone has dramatically altered the relationship between cell owners and their phones when it comes to monitoring and safeguarding their personal information,” said Aaron Smith, a report co-author.

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“The wealth of intimate details stored on smartphones makes them akin to the personal diaries of the past — the information they contain is hard to replace if lost, and potentially embarrassing in the wrong hands.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Thousands join anti-G7 march as world leaders fly in

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More than 9,000 anti-G7 protesters joined a mass march across the French-Spanish border on Saturday as world leaders arrived for a summit in Biarritz just hours after activists clashed with police.

Since Monday, anti-capitalist activists, environmentalists and other anti-globalisation groups have begun flocking to southwestern France for a counter-summit which they insist will be peaceful.

Biarritz is a popular tourist destination that would normally be basking in its annual summer boom, but with US President Donald Trump and other world leaders flying in for three days of talks, the resort was on lockdown.

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China hits out at ‘bullying’ US over new tariffs

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China on Saturday angrily hit out at the latest US tariff hikes on its goods, saying a "bullying" Washington would eventually "eat its own bitter fruit".

European leaders have also warned US President Donald Trump of the dangers of trade skirmishes with China and Europe, which look set to dominate the G7 summit due to begin in France.

Trump on Friday increased existing and planned tariffs on a total of $550 billion in Chinese goods, in response to new tit-for-tat levy hikes announced earlier that day by Beijing on $75 billion of US imports.

A Chinese commerce ministry spokesman on Saturday denounced Washington's "unilateral and bullying trade protectionism".

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2020 Election

Mass rallies, crazy decisions, grandiose posturing: This is what living in a dictatorship feels like

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Another week of shaking our heads and wondering how much longer we can survive him. Yet again, Donald Trump overwhelmed practically everything with the force of his obscene personality, running his mouth and his thumbs even while he was failing to run the country in any sort of conventional sense. He doesn’t actually do anything, but he dominates everything. Living in America today is like being trapped in a room with him — no doors, no windows, no exits, only Trump and the sound of Trump and the hideous image of Trump, all day, every day, for day after day after day.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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