Request For Research Presentations For the PrivacyCon Conference #40

Submission Number:
40
Commenter:
Michael Kummer
State:
Georgia
Initiative Name:
Request For Research Presentations For the PrivacyCon Conference
Abstract: We use data on mobile applications to analyze the costs and benefits from using privacy sensitive permissions for data collection in the market for mobile applications. We tracked 200,000 apps over four years to analyze the data collection policies of mobile app developers. We surprisingly find that single app developers are less likely to run intrusive apps, and generally obtain better privacy grades. Moreover we show that strong competition results in a small but positive pressure to produce more intrusive apps, and that a privacy policy is highly predictive of problematic levels of access to user data. Finally, intrusive data collection is most likely in apps that target the 13+ category, which might raise concerns for the protection of young consumers. We shed important new light on the possibility of collecting and monetizing user data for the supply side in the market for mobile applications. Moreover, our findings can serve as a basis for the development of a structural approach that allows a counterfactual analysis of the market without access to sensitive user data.