Sunday, June 14, 2015

Teens and Mobile Apps Privacy

Madden, M., Lenhart, A., Cortesi, S., Gasser, U. (August 22,2015). Teens and Mobile Apps Privacy. Pew Research Center, Retrieved June 14, 2015 from

Many teens have taken steps to uninstall or avoid apps out of concern about their privacy. Location information is a great concern to teen girls and many have taken steps to disable the tracking features on cell phones and in apps.

The article states that 58% of all teens have downloaded apps to their phones, tablets, or computers and 51% avoid certain apps due to privacy concerns. Girls are more likely than boys to disable location tracking features.

Most teens state that they download social media or gaming apps and often choose the free apps to use. Most teens don’t need permission from parents to download the free apps. If the app is free and they don't like it, they don't feel bad about deleting the app.

About 46% of teens have turned off the location information on their phone or in apps because they are worried about others having access to that information.  Some of the people they are concerned about are their own parents.  Parents state they use the phone to monitor their child’s location in some way.

Teens have asked for help concerning location services.  Those that have asked, have mostly turned off the location services after receiving advice.

I was surprised to see how many teens were worried about the location information.  I assumed that if teens wanted an app, they would just download it and use it without being concerned about the location information. I think that it is possible that with all the social media lessons being taught in schools and by parents, that teens are really beginning to take note of what’s out there and the possible dangers of social media.
This article is a good reminder to teens, parents, and teachers, to be aware of what you are downloading and how you are using the app.  I think it reinforces that we need to continue to teach teens about how to manage social media in a safe way.


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  1. I was surprised as well with the fact that teens turn off their location information when a lot of them are checking in to places on social media sites like Facebook.

  2. It's good to know that teens get the privacy and security features and how to protect themselves online.