Teens actually do care about their digital privacy, survey finds


American teenagers love their smartphones but not the apps that collect their personal information or their location data. According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, nearly 50% of American teenagers avoid downloading apps over privacy concerns and 26% of them deleted an app because they found out that that it was collecting their personal information they didn’t want to share.

The study shows that teen girls are more concerned with their privacy than teen boys. Nearly half of them turned off location sharing feature on their phones just cause they don’t want to share that information with people they don’t know.

Mary Madden, senior researcher for the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project said:

“Teens are on the front lines of figuring out the complex world of privacy management of on their mobile devices. They realize that cell phones can be used to monitor their whereabouts, and they will avoid apps if they feel like the data requests are unnecessary or excessive.”

One interesting point made by the Pew Center was that younger teens, ages between 12-13, are more concerned over privacy and least likely to download apps that require them to share their personal information than older teens. Not only should they be careful about downloading apps on their phones, but they also need to be careful what they write or share on social media. While this is a good move by teens, they also have to remember that they should really be careful about what they say or share on the internet – especially on Facebook or Twitter.

[via LA Times and Image via i-Sight]

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  • I remember, many years ago now, when a comic character was introduced to Twitter. His comment was priceless; “They’ve automated stalking?” I still smile over that one.

  • JonE

    I’m not much of a fan of mobile devices, however, if I still had teenagers in the house what an advantage that would be. I would insist on them taking their mobile device with them with GPS tracking turned on; it would tell me if they were somewhere they weren’t suppose to be. And if they turned the device off there would be a message waiting, from me, when they turned the device back on, that they wouldn’t want to hear.

    It would also be so they could call me to tell me why they weren’t going to be home at the agreed upon time. And if they weren’t home at the agreed upon time and I hadn’t received a call from them telling me why they would be late then they would be getting a call from me asking why they weren’t home yet, and yes I’d be checking there location and if the device were turned off then there would be hell to pay when communication was restored, in whatever manner that was.

    Disagree? We set down rules for our children both when they are smaller and when they are teenagers both so they can learn responibility and for their protection; they aren’t always that smart about what is in their best interest, and sometimes invasion of their, so called, privacy is needed to protect their best interest and to teach them responsibility.

    But, alas I did not have such devices to ensure my children’s safety.