Concerns about mobile privacy are holding back adoption of mobile apps in Malaysia and Indonesia, according to new research commissioned by the GSMA.
Around 80 per cent of respondents in Indonesia and 86 per cent in Malaysia said they are concerned apps may collect personal information without their permission, with just over half of those saying they would use apps more if their personal information was better safeguarded.
In addition, 74 per cent of Indonesian mobile internet users and 71 per cent in Malaysia said they would consider receiving targeted advertising based on location if a company asked their permission first.
There were also calls for greater control over personal data. Many respondents who download apps said they try to find out what information is accessed before installing, indicating they would like the ability to set their own preference for the types and timing of ads.
Excessively long privacy policies were also flagged as an issue. A significant proportion — 74 per cent in Indonesia and 79 per cent in Malaysia — said they agree to privacy policies without reading them, often because they are too long.
One approach to overcome this would be a range of icons to show how apps deal with personal information, for example, an icon to show if an app shares a user’s location.
GSMA chief government and regulatory affairs officer Tom Phillips urged developers to look at the various best practice guidelines, including those from the GSMA and NTIA, and incorporate them into their services.
“Being honest and transparent with customers boosts their confidence and trust when engaging with what you have to offer,” he added.
The study quizzed more than 1,500 mobile users in both Malaysia and Indonesia, with the GSMA joined by Celcom Axiata in Malaysia and XL Axiata in Indonesia in backing the research.