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Permissions: Is Your App Asking for Too Much?

Posted Nov 24, 2015

Is your app actively encouraging uninstalls? According to data from Pew Research and Business Insider, if your app asks for too many permissions, it might be.

The study conducted by Pew Research found that the majority (60%) of users have abandoned the app install page after learning how many permissions an app would request. Meanwhile, 43% of users reported uninstalling an app after learning how much personal information the app required.

So what data is being requested most commonly? The most common requests are for network, USB, power controls, location, and vibration.


Obviously, the list is non-exhaustive and focus predominately on the most common hardware permissions. To garner a better assessment of what is seen as relatively normal by user, the following chart illustrates the average number of permissions requested by app category.


From this data, it is evident that while users might think twice before installing a weather app that asks for 8 different permissions, this would be seen as completely normal for a business app.

Leveraging this Data
For users, context is key and it is the publisher’s duty to provide it. If an app will function better with a particular permission added, clearly explain why. Designate which permissions are required for base app functionality and which are optimal enhancements. With this information clearly labeled, users will have more confidence in their privacy control.

Granted, this may mean that some uses do not allow some of the permissions you desire, but at least they are not uninstalling.

Join the Conversation
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