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People don’t want to share their device’s geolocation anymore

With everyone from malware hackers to advertisers to the NSA trying to get information from smartphones, mobile users are understandably protective about revealing their data, including their location.

woman phone

There are some great things GPS can do, and yet…

There are some obvious benefits to allowing mobile apps to use your smartphone’s GPS to pinpoint your location. Apps can connect you to your social network locally, bring you relevant news stories, weather data, and more.

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But it turns out that, despite these benefits, mobile users feel pretty hesitant about sharing their location – and with good reason. With everyone from malware hackers to advertisers to the NSA trying to get information from smartphones, mobile users are understandably protective about revealing their data, including their location.

Not the best numbers

A study recently released by eMarketer found that mobile users feel lukewarm at best about enabling location services for mobile apps, and some don’t want to use location services at all, even though it means they’ll miss out on some of the conveniences.

When it came to apps that ask for your location, users were most willing to share their location to get local weather reports. Yet 35 percent of weather app users were still unwilling to enable location services. Even fewer were willing to do so when it came to social networking, travel, and photo and video apps. Only 16 percent of users were willing to share their location with a news app, despite the obvious benefit of accessing local news stories.

Even with the benenfits

Another part of the survey found that only 13 percent of users strongly agreed that they felt comfortable sharing their location, with most of the other recipients remaining ambivalent. Additionally, eight out of ten users were worried that their smartphone would reveal their location without their permission.

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The marketing experts at eMarketer advise developers to make sure that customers fully understand the benefit they are receiving in exchange for revealing their location. Users need to feel like they are really getting something worthwhile in return – yet this study shows that, even with the benefits in mind, most mobile users would rather keep their locations anonymous.

#EnableLocation

Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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