Smartphone Privacy Settings Are a Priority for Most Americans

More than half have privacy concerns over app usage and website visits.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Jinhee Yi Research Analyst, US, Public Affairs
Get in touch

Washington, DC, November 6, 2019 — A new Ipsos poll finds that 4 in 10 Americans will not consider the phone’s default privacy settings a priority when purchasing their next smartphone (38%). A majority report being concerned with third parties tracking activity on downloaded apps and website visits (57% for each) and around 41% are concerned with third parties tracking content that is watched or streamed such as videos.

Americans are evenly split on their awareness of identifiers in some smartphone operating systems, a number specifically tied to a phone or tablet that lets advertisers track activity over time. Of the respondents that are aware of identifiers, 20% have changed the setting to reset this identifier so that advertisers will be unable to track activity. Nearly 6 in 10 report not changing this setting because they do not know how (58%). A plurality, one-third, prefer to have a unique identifier reset automatically once a week (34%), and another quarter prefer to do it themselves.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 16-17, 2019. For this survey, a sample of roughly 1,007 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,007, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.0 percentage points).

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Chris Jackson
Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
chris.jackson@ipsos.com

Mallory Newall
Director, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2014
mallory.newall@ipsos.com

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.
Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).
ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP www.ipsos.com

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Jinhee Yi Research Analyst, US, Public Affairs

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