MEF today unveiled the results of its Global Consumer Trust Report in association with AVG Technologies at the Consumer Electronics Show. The third annual report studies the attitudes and behaviours relating to privacy and security of over 5000 mobile media users in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, UK and USA.

The MEF report reveals that over a third (36 per cent) of consumers are put off downloading and using more mobile apps and services due to privacy and security concerns. This means for the fourth consecutive year trust remains the biggest barrier to growth across the mobile ecosystem; with more than 52 per cent of respondents in the eight countries studied deleting apps that worried them, over a third (38 per cent) stopping using them altogether and a fifth (21 per cent) leaving negative reviews or warning friends.

In addition, fewer mobile users are comfortable with the idea of sharing personal information with app and mobile service providers. In 2013, 21 per cent of those studied said they were always happy to share personal data with an app. By 2015, this has fallen to just 6 per cent. Whereas the number of ‘reluctant sharers’ who do not wish to share personal information but know they must if they want to use the app leapt to 41 per cent from 33 per cent last year.

Significantly, almost half (47 per cent) said they would pay extra for apps which guaranteed the data collected would not be shared with third parties, with more than one in six (17 per cent) willing to pay a premium of more than 10 per cent to ensure their data is protected.

When it comes to device security, 23 per cent of mobile users who secure their device now use more than one method of protection, with biometrics increasing from 7 per cent to 11 per cent year on year. However, 21 per cent of the study’s respondents still take no action to secure their device, suggesting consumer awareness still has some way to go.

MEF CEO Rimma Perelmuter commented “MEF’s 4th Global Consumer Trust Report highlights the significant consequences of consumers’ growing concerns around data privacy and security on the mobile ecosystem. Behavioural trends among consumers such as deleting apps or ceasing to use apps already downloaded are clear indicators that the industry has to do more to build a sustained and trusted relationship with consumers.

With 41 per cent of mobile users identified as “reluctant sharers” of their personal data, the MEF Report is a wake-up call to the mobile industry to collaborate and do more to instil transparency and consumer trust in mobile services. This is why we continue to champion industry best practice via our Global Consumer Trust Initiative and why such a broad cross-section of the mobile industry are taking an active role.

Concurrently, the MEF Report identifies a clear opportunity for businesses that put trust at the heart of their business with 47 per cent willing to pay extra for privacy-friendly apps. This is just one example of how the mobile industry can look to cater to the trust-conscious consumer by establishing exciting new business models and services that recognise mobile users with different needs.”

“We must cooperate as an industry to go beyond simply being ‘good enough’ at protecting our customers,” said Harvey Anderson, Chief Legal Officer for AVG Technologies. “Transparency and education need to go hand-in-hand with an industrywide commitment to establish and hold each other to human-centered principles. People should not have to trade privacy and security to benefit from the wealth of data-enabled services that are available now and on the horizon, and it is up to us to create the right future.”

MEF’s third annual Global Consumer Trust Survey in association with AVG Technologies studies the behaviours and attitudes of over 5000 consumers in eight countries including both developed and growth markets. Its analysis identifies key market trends and helps its members better understand the mindset of the end user and, crucially, how this is likely to impact the mobile ecosystem.

The study is a comprehensive look at privacy and security from a consumer perspective in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, UK and US, and is available for members to download for free now. Non-members may also download the executive summary.

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