Pandemic-Era Consumers Love Apps But Have Security Concerns

Hybrid cloud data warehouse company Yellowbrick Data announced results of its Tech Trends Survey. The survey is examining consumer attitudes about tech and mobile apps, as well as related issues around data protection. Fielded to more than 1,000 Americans earlier this month, the survey polled consumers about their favorite and least-favorite mobile apps and usage trends, while exploring key security concerns – particularly consumers’ suspicions around popular dating apps in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.

App Usage Post-COVID

Overall, consumers view apps and other technology solutions as being particularly helpful during the global coronavirus pandemic. Some 58% of respondents said they are using technology “more” during the COVID-19 pandemic, and clear favorites emerged. When asked about the “favorite technology that got them through COVID,” top responses included:

  • Social media (39.8%)
  • Shopping apps (22.9%)
  • Cooking apps (13.2%)
  • Finance apps (9.5%)
  • Fitness apps (8.7%)

At the time of this announcement, Jeff Spicer, Yellowbrick Data’s Chief Marketing Officer said –

“Our survey data shows that there has been widespread acceptance of technology during the pandemic, enabling people to work and play in new ways. Yet at the same time, there is obvious fatigue when it comes to tech. There’s also distrust when it comes to security, particularly around PII – underscoring the need for companies to implement robust data security strategies designed to protect privacy. Companies must also communicate about those strategies to users, creating greater consumer confidence in the apps that we all use every day.”

Despite the fact that many people have enjoyed the presence of tech in their lives since the onset of the pandemic, 32.7% of respondents say that they have become “more fed up” with technology during this period. And when asked which technology trend is their “least favorite” since the advent of COVID-19, responses included:

  • TikTok (27.6%)
  • Virtual meetings (26.5%)
  • Virtual dates (16.0%)
  • Online shopping (17.2%)
  • Virtual workouts (12.7%)

Consumers are seeking a return to more normal activities after the pandemic subsides, and post-COVID, the apps they’re most looking forward to using include restaurant reservation apps (24%), travel apps (22%), ticketing apps for movies, concerts and professional sports (17.9%), fitness class apps (10.1%), dating apps (7.6%), and public transportation apps (6.2%), as well as rideshare apps (4.9%), kids’ sports scheduling apps (4.1%), and babysitting apps (3.2%).

Daters Don’t Trust ‘AI Cupid’ Security

As we approach Valentine’s Day on February 14, the consumers surveyed by Yellowbrick also expressed concerns about dating apps, notably around their perceived lack of security and data protection. Some 19.2% of consumers say they would like to “break up” with dating apps and that they don’t trust them with their data. Only 13.6% of consumers feel “fully confident” that dating apps protect personal information.

Not only did 73.1% of respondents say they would not be using a dating app to find a Valentine’s Day date this year, more than two-thirds (66.8%) said they wouldn’t trust artificial intelligence (AI) to pick their valentine. Fake profiles (72.5%) and security (48.9%) were cited as key concerns with dating apps, and 37.8% of survey respondents said they were “not confident at all” in terms of dating apps protecting their personally identifiable information (PII). Despite new regulations from Apple’s App Store covering consumer and data privacy, 60.8% of consumers think that dating apps are selling their information even if their stated policies do not allow it.

However, a more public-facing data security strategy might be poised to change opinions about dating apps. Some 44.4% of respondents said that having their dating app information and personal data stored on a fully managed public cloud would impact their decision to use the app. When asked about storing personal and dating information on a fully-managed hybrid cloud, 32.6% said it would influence their decision.

Currently, Yellowbrick Data provides the world’s only modern data warehouse for hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Enterprises rely on Yellowbrick Data Warehouse to power critical business outcomes and get answers to the hardest business questions for improved profitability, better customer loyalty, and faster innovation in real time, and at a fraction of the cost of alternatives. Yellowbrick offers superior price/performance for thousands of concurrent users on petabytes of data, along with the unique ability to run analytic workloads on premises, in a private cloud, and/or in any public cloud and manage them in a simple, consistent way—all with predictable pricing via fixed-cost annual subscription.