The Convenience and Efficiency of Apps That Track User Location Are Appealing to Consumers, but There’s a Significant Gap Between Men and Women When It Comes to Willingness to Share Location Information Through Apps
Men are more willing to share their location data freely compared to women, according to a new survey from The Manifest, a business news and how-to website.
More than double the number of men (20%) are willing to share their location with all of the contacts in their phone compared to only 9% of women who feel comfortable doing the same.
Men are less cautious about giving away their location data to apps, while women tend to be more hesitant about the risks involved.
More than twice the number of men (35%) share their location with dating apps than women (16%).
Men are typically less cautious about sharing their data on apps. The higher risk of assault that women face could contribute to these findings.
Dating apps like Tinder are launching new location sharing features so people can connect based on their exact location. These apps aim to create new methods of socializing, but not everyone is comfortable with exposing so much personal information.
Smartphones Track Location Data Despite App Settings, Raising Privacy Concerns
Nearly all people (81%) believe they can turn off location tracking on their phones, but the process to do so can be complicated. Neither Google nor Apple have obvious methods of switching this feature off.
People may not be aware of which apps run in the background, following their location and recording data about their activities. Fifteen percent (15%) of those surveyed are uncomfortable with apps that track where they go.
Many people worry about the consequences if this data is hacked. Among people who feel uncomfortable using location tracking apps, most (52%) say it’s because they feel unsafe.
As long as an app uses the proper security standards, location data is at no bigger risk than the rest of the technology, experts said.
“If you’re tracking the live location of the user and you’re not storing it securely, then it can be hacked,” said Sudeep Srivastava, CEO of Appinventiv, a mobile app development company.
Overall, Most People Are Comfortable With Location Tracking Apps
Still, the majority of people feel comfortable with location tracking apps.
More than half of app users (57%) feel safe with apps that track their location.
Businesses use location tracking to create more customized app experiences. Consumers like location tracking apps because of the convenience they provide.
“My wife and I use location tracking apps multiple times a day,” said Robert Siciliano, founder of Safr.Me, a consulting company focused on preventing identity theft. “As parents and in business together, we need to check in for help with various responsibilities.”
People prioritize the efficiency and personalized services of location tracking apps over the possible consequences of hacking into the technology.
The Manifest’s 2019 Location Tracking App Survey included 727 people from across the US who use location tracking apps.