Research findings

Apps and the Access to Personal Data

Data privacy

In this study from August 2022 we want to find out which thoughts and feelings are triggered when downloaded apps want to access saved contacts – personal data from other people. To get to the bottom of this question we asked 308 people.

We requested our probands to imagine that they download the ficticious messenger app ChitChat. This app wants to access the saved contacts – which means accessing personal data of other people. 55% of our participants denied the app the access. It shows that the older the probands are, the more likely it is that they will deny the access. These participants state that they deny access to protect the data and privacy of themselves and others. Those participants that allow access to this to ensure the functionality of the app.

We asked our probands how privacy-friendly they estimate the app to be on a scale from 1 (not at all) to 7 (wholeheartedly). The average from those probands who allowed access is 3,59 – which is notably higher than the average from probands who denied access (2,72).

We also wanted to find out how our probands judge the functionality of the app when the access to contacts is denied. For this a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (very good). Again there is a clear difference between probands that allowed access (2,98) and those who denied access (3,79).

Our participants were also asked how they would feel if they had installed the app ChitChat on their phone. We also asked what our probands think about how other people their age and gender would feel. To identify this, a scale from 1 (negative) to 5 (positive) was used. For our probands, the average of how they themselves feel comes to 2,84. For what our probands think about other people, the average amounts to 3,1.

You can find the full study here!


published: 09.09.2022

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