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Aussies in 'don't understand location services, just use them' shock!

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The most frequent users of mobile location services are the most clueless, according to research conducted for Australia’s telecommunications and media regulator.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority research found that “high frequency” users of the services “were less likely to display an understanding of the range of options for protecting information”.

The ACMA says while 56 percent of mobile Internet users happily access location services several times a week, they do so with little understanding of the privacy implications.

In particular, the regulator highlights ignorance about service providers’ collection and sharing of location information. Consumers have little understanding of the risks of the collection of location information, the ACMA says, and don’t know what steps they can take to protect their information.

Simple where-is-it style services are the most popular, the authority’s research found, while person-finder services are the service most likely to be used more than once on a particular day.

Nearly half the users surveyed by Urbis on behalf of the ACMA didn’t understand how much of their location information might be shared with third parties, and 46 percent of respondents didn’t know they could turn off location services.

The full research is contained in two publications, Here, there and everywhere-Consumer behaviour and location services (here) and Location services, personal information and identity (here). ®

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