Data Security on Mobile Apps

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Mobile applications are important moneymakers for app providers, developers, software companies and advertisers. With $46 billion dollars in profits in 2016 alone, the popularity of these apps is only continuing to grow.

As you pursue your Bachelor of Science in Information Systems degree, it’s important to understand that along with this popularity comes a unique threat. Personal information security can become vulnerable through app usage, making many mobile users wary of how they use their devices.

The Study

University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business assistant professor Samuel Thompson co-authored a study that investigated the four dimensions of access to personal information afforded by mobile app usage, and which of these dimensions impacted mobile users’ information privacy concerns. The four dimensions include:

  • Personal identity
  • Location
  • Device content
  • System and network settings

In an online survey of 1,025 participants, the study found that three of the four dimensions significantly influenced mobile users’ information privacy concerns. The three dimensions that measure mobile users’ privacy concerns include:

  • Surveillance
  • Perceived intrusion
  • Secondary use of personal information

Implications of the Study

The results of the study indicate that trust-based relationships between app providers and users can build user confidence and assist in overcoming information privacy concerns. How can providers encourage trust? Some suggestions include:

  • Only access personal information stored on mobile devices if absolutely necessary and if they can justify the action with value-added services.
  • Make sure users are protected from misuse and breach of privacy laws.
  • Give users the opportunity to turn off access to their personal information.
  • Communicate privacy policies to users.

To learn what the study found about personal information security concerns around mobile device usage and what solutions are possible, view the UAB Collat School of Business infographic below:

Mobile Data Security and Privacy Concerns

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