Research findings

Data protection: Access to contacts via messenger apps

What does downloading a fictional messenger app trigger in us?

In October 2023, 254 Austrians were surveyed on behalf of the In-Focus Report for m.core/WU Vienna. This time, the survey focused on the thoughts and feelings of the participants regarding the sharing of data with apps.

57% of those surveyed would refuse access to their contacts when downloading the messenger app “WorkChat.” The older the participants are, the more they perceive the sharing of contacts as worse and the more uncomfortable they feel about it, regardless of whether it affects themselves or others.

The participants were also asked why they grant access to their contacts or why they don’t. Reasons for granting the app access to contacts included “networking,” “necessity for use,” and “usefulness.” Participants who did not grant access cited reasons such as “privacy,” “data protection,” and “lack of trust.”

How do people feel about sharing contact details with messenger apps?

In the following graph, using a scale from 0 (unpleasant) to 5 (happy), respondents were asked to indicate how they would feel if they were informed that someone had shared their data with an app. Additionally, on the second scale ranging from 0 (not at all) to 7 (very), respondents were asked how they believe people of their age and gender would react in a similar situation.

The survey was answered by 254 participants (51.6% female, 48.4% male), with an average age of 44.04 years (standard deviation 13.26).

Find the full study in German here!


published: 22.11.2023

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