A majority of mobile users agree that location services are “vital” to a mobile application. However, a considerable number of users are apprehensive about sharing their location data, says a new study by Skyhook Wireless, a mobile location network. This finding can affect how B2B firms apply geo-fencing tech or location services to their apps.
The survey of 1,000 mobile users discovered 83 percent respondents say location services are important, but close to 40 percent wouldn’t share their location data.
Some of the professed concerns include privacy worries (50 percent), a lack of value (23 percent) and draining the battery life (19 percent). Due to these concerns, 18 percent turn off location services for all of their apps, while 20 percent shut down location services to avoid advertisements.
Meanwhile, for those who do take advantage of location services, 25 percent keep it turned on so they can receive the latest promotions and offers from businesses in their vicinity. Also, more than one-third (34 percent) of users report they appreciate receiving personal messages from apps.
The most popular apps with location services turned on were weather, social network, travel, video and photo and news.
Privacy vs. Convenience: The Battle of Balance
Location-based services locate a person, place or object in your immediate location. For instance, geo-location features help you find the nearest Starbucks or ATM. But when you turn on that function in your app, the vendor can gain access to your data, and many are concerned what they’ll do with it. Thing is, it’s a very valuable tool for businesses and mobile marketers.
But experts are looking at how it will affect the consumer, and if there is a strong appetite for it.
Both the growth of location awareness and how it can fit into the everyday life of consumers are an important aspect for both B2B and B2C companies. By taking advantage of location services, firms can offer more alerts on their apps to inform individuals who and what is in their nearby vicinity.
Caution may be required. Considering that, according to a 2013 Pew report, one-third of adults in the U.S. turn off the location tracking function, mobile app developers need to take the aforementioned concerns into account. Of course, at the same time, there is still an overwhelming number of consumers still taking advantage of location services.
Despite the number of privacy concerns and the growing number of smartphone users turning off their location-tracking features, most users are taking advantage of these location services.
A battle of balance between privacy and value may have to be waged by app developers and vendors.
Facebook recently made news over its location tracking technology. Last month, a large number of users had complained that the social network giant’s location tracking technology inside its mobile app had caused their phone batteries to drain rather quickly.
See the full infographic below:
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