UK Privacy Regulator Warns About Mobile Apps Collecting Personal Data

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The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is warning consumers to protect their personal information when downloading mobile apps ahead of the busiest day of the year for app downloads.

Last year 328 million apps were downloaded on Christmas Day alone and many people will have the latest tablet PC or smartphone at the top of their Christmas list this year. An online survey carried out by YouGov for the ICO this month found that 59% of adults in the UK have downloaded an app. This figure is likely to increase over the festive period.

But the survey also found that 62% of people who have downloaded an app are concerned about the way apps can use their personal information. The survey found 49% of app users have decided not to download an app due to privacy concerns.

ICO Principal Policy Advisor for Technology, Simon Rice, said: "Apps do all sorts of weird and wonderful things, helping someone chat with their friends, find a local restaurant or see what's on at their local cinema. However, they often work by using personal information. This can include information you would not normally choose to give out to a stranger, such as the contact details of friends and relatives and details of your location."

The ICO's recent guidance for app developers will help the developer community address the public's concerns by demonstrating that they are looking after people's information correctly and complying with the Data Protection Act.

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Tags: mobile apps  UK 

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