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by Beth Bacon
These days, it’s hard to find a teen anywhere in the United States who’s not holding a digital device—mobile phone or tablet—in their hand. With the ubiquity of mobile devices and the abundance of free and low-cost apps, teens are adding new software into their handhelds more than ever before.
58% of all teens have downloaded apps to their cell phone or tablet computers. At the same time, teens are concerned about privacy breaches that may go along with these apps. In a new survey of U.S. teens ages 12-17, the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds teens taking measures to protect their personal privacy on their digital devices.
Teens are adept at avoiding apps with tracking features and disabling location-tracking software on their mobile devices.
- 51% of teen apps users have avoided certain apps due to privacy concerns.
- 46% of teen apps users have turned off location tracking features on their cell phone or in an app because they were worried about the privacy of their information.
- 26% of teen apps users have uninstalled an app because they learned it was collecting personal information that they didn’t wish to share.
- Among teen apps users, girls are considerably more likely than boys to say they have disabled location tracking features (59% vs. 37%).
ABOUT THE SURVEY
The 2012 Teens and Privacy Management Survey sponsored by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 802 teens aged 12 to 17 years-old and their parents living in the United States. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The team conducted 24 focus group interviews with a total of 156 participants across the greater Boston area, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara (California), and Greensboro (North Carolina) beginning in February 2013.
Image of teens via Shutterstock.