Consumers willing to share location data with apps despite privacy concerns

Consumer willingness to share their mobile device’s location data with apps has grown in the last two years, although many still harbour significant concerns

The figures come from new research by mobile marketing platform Verve that asked 2,000 UK adults how comfortable they were letting independent apps know their whereabouts.

55% of respondents said that they were more comfortable sharing the information now than they were two years ago, with 73% allowing select apps to access the information. However, only 11% claimed to always every app they use to access their location info.

“Consumers are becoming more accustomed to the idea of sharing their device’s location with apps, in exchange for useful or personalised services,” Ian James, General Manager of International at Verve, said.

“This information is extremely valuable and creates huge opportunities for publishers, but also advertisers who want to engage customers with memorable and personalised experiences.

Trust and permission

Consumers are more willing to let certain kinds of apps gain access to their location data, 40% say they share their phone’s location with weather apps; and a third (33%) with transport apps. Many other verticals are fast leveraging the powers of location.

77% consider how well the brand is known to be a good indicator of how trustworthy they are likely to be with data, although the surveyed consumers had a range of other important considerations. 60% look for guarantees that the information is securely stored, while 59% like to have the ability to dictate how the data is used or have the ability to turn it off.

Another key concern is whether the information is anonymised, which 55% listed as being very important to them.

“To retain consumer trust and permission, publishers must be transparent about how that data is used, and brands must ensure resulting ads are both well-targeted and relevant,” continued James.

“Too often today, location data used by advertisers is not of a high enough quality to support this - the industry has to step up its game to truly unlock the power and value of location marketing.”

Consumers certainly expect benefits for sharing their information with apps, with 38% wanting special offers or coupons and 20% wanting on the spot offers.

64% say that concerns about their privacy make them less likely to share their information location with apps.

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