App privacy trade-off: How value in apps can solve app user privacy concerns – Part 2Reading Time: 2 minutes
In today’s part 2 of our App Privacy series, we will have a look at how app owners can potentially tackle the privacy challenge when it comes to collecting their app user data. As we introduced it last week in Part 1 – App Privacy Challenge, app users are not fully aware of the possible consequences when it comes to sharing private information through apps. Recent studies and findings, extracted from Dr Wottrich‘s thesis, show how app users react to their data being collected, and the level of intrusiveness they experience from using certain apps. This article aims at providing a better understanding of app users privacy concerns for app industry actors.
App privacy trade-off
During the past few years, personal data have become the currency for mobile app users to pay for various mobile services, such as social networking, messaging, or entertainment apps (Fife & Orjuela, 2012; Smith, Dinev, & Xu, 2011; van Dijck, 2014). Instead of paying for an app with “real” money, app users often (unwittingly) reimburse app developers by accepting their permission request, that is, an app’s demand to control the mobile device and to access and use the personal information stored in the device (Gu, Xu, Xu, Zhang, & Ling, 2017).
Extracts from Privacy Exposed: Consumer Responses to Data Collection and Usage Practices of Mobile Apps – Dr Verena Wottrich 2018
What does it mean?
App users are seeing App Value in using any given app, which is perceived as benefits, but are also experiencing App intrusiveness and Privacy concerns, which are seen as costs. One of the costs associated with downloading apps is that users have to accept the app’s permission to be able to use it.
What did the studies show?
- App value has a positive effect on permission acceptance intention.
- Considering the roles of app value, app intrusiveness, and privacy concerns in the privacy trade-off, findings show that the effect of app value exceeds the association of privacy concerns, which in turn exceeds the effect of intrusiveness.
- It might be that once consumers perceive the value of an app as adequate, some degree of intrusiveness is perceived as appropriate as well.
Key learnings for app owners, brands and organisations
The challenge for organizations, brands, mobile marketers is to know what can be done in order to pursue with their respective activities without jeopardizing app user’s privacy, or at least minimizing the risks.
Value to solve the app privacy challenge
Apps with more value face less reluctance from their users as they are engaged in a privacy trade-off. Value is one way to go for brands, organisations, marketers to diminish their app users reluctancy to share private information.
But how to bring value to one app?
An app, be it a gaming, finance, utility or social app, can be perceived as bringing value to its users. And because app value seems to overrule the influence of app intrusiveness and privacy concerns in the decision-making process, when downloading apps, this can improved by mastering app engagement.
Immediate value gained from information disclosure via mobile apps trumps the costs related to the information trade. (Privacy Exposed: Consumer Responses to Data Collection and Usage Practices of Mobile Apps)
In next weeks article, we’ll be exploring the impact of branded app intrusiveness on consumer’s app and brand perceptions.
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