Mobile health app privacy assessment

Author: Jasmeen Chahal

Chahal, Jasmeen, 2020 Mobile health app privacy assessment, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

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Mobile applications such as healthcare apps have become an essential part of people’s lives. Increasing growth of mobile apps create both opportunities and challenges. Information privacy in mobile apps is becoming increasingly critical. Users experience privacy concerns in apps information permission sensitivity and sharing of sensitive, personal user data by apps with third parties. To protect users against possible privacy risks, some mobile app advertisers prominently disclose app permission requests on app download pages. However, there is no opt-out facility for customers if they wish to download and use the app on their mobile device. Privacy concerns in health apps are involved with user’s personal and medical information that might be encoded by third parties or become vulnerable to attack by cybercriminals. Despite the problematic nature of this issue, there has been little research focused on the assessment of mobile apps privacy. Focusing on this emerging practice of assessment, the aim of this study was to evaluate the privacy of mobile apps. Using a mixed studies review method, the study investigated the privacy assessment of mobile apps, especially in the health and wellness area. It found that there are increasing concerns for safety of health app users and an urgent need for the development of app privacy assessment tools for consumers. The results of the research provide a better understanding for the mobile app developers and users to recognize the importance of protecting the privacy and security of users.

Keywords: Mobile, Health, App, Privacy Assessment

Subject: Computer Science thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2020
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Trish Williams