Privacy on Line? Good Luck Finding an App for That

Dear Mr. Dad: Like a lot of people, I sometimes let my 8-year old play with my smart phone while I’m driving. I’ve got things set up so he can’t download any apps by himself, but he’s talked me into a getting a bunch for him. It just hit me the other day that I don’t think I’ve ever seen any privacy policy notices with the apps. How do I know they aren’t spying on us?
A: Unfortunately, you don’t.  And given that 85% of Americans have a cell phone, (45% have smartphones) and 25% have tablets, your question is an excellent one. The good news is that we tend to take our privacy pretty seriously. A September, 2012 Pew report found that than half of app users “decided to not install a cell phone app when they discovered how much personal information they would need to share in order to use it,” And 30% of app users have “uninstalled an app that was already on their cell phone because they learned it was collecting personal information that they didn’t wish to share.”