Monday, April 15, 2024
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    Nine out of 10 popular mobile games ignore user privacy, study reveals 

    A new study by Usercentrics, a global leader in the field of Consent Management Platforms (CMP), reveals that 90% of mobile games fail to comply with privacy regulations, leaving millions of gamers without any control over how their personal data is used.

    The study examined a significant sample of 269 top iOS and Android games, specifically those with at least 150,000 daily active users. The data was collected using the auditing tool Apptopia. The results showed that a vast majority of mobile games in EMEA (~94%) and in North America (~86%) collect personal data without obtaining user consent. This finding indicates a violation of both the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ePrivacy Directive.

    The study’s results demonstrate that mobile game developers are not aligned with the broader trend in the mobile industry towards a consent-based approach to data collection. For instance, Apple introduced its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) system last year, which enables users to have more control over their data and privacy. Similarly, Google is currently developing its own system. Furthermore, obtaining user consent is crucial for revenue generation, as 40% of players reported they would uninstall a game if they had concerns regarding their data privacy.

    One reason why the majority of mobile game publishers and developers haven’t implemented consent in a smart way may be concerns that it will negatively affect their games’ revenue. However, with premium brands and ad networks increasingly insisting on using only compliant data, game developers need to embrace consent to future-proof monetization strategies for in-app advertising (IAA).

    “Despite the threat of large fines for noncompliance and consumers’ increasing desire to have control of their personal data, it’s clear from the study that most mobile game developers are still putting profit over privacy,” says Valerio Sudrio, Global Director of Apps Solutions at Usercentrics. “The app stores, ad networks and premium brand advertisers are pushing the industry towards an inevitable consent-based future, and developers and publishers need to realize that compliant data (personal data + consent) will be their most valuable asset going into that future.”

    Download the full Data Privacy in Mobile Games Report here.

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