Why Consumers Don't Disable Location & Push Notifications

When setting up an app for the first time, many of us are on auto pilot - clicking "yes" to whatever is needed in order to be able to use the app quickly.

As app users agree to things like tracking location even with the app is not open or sending push notifications without limitations, they open up themselves to companies collecting their data and using it as they wish. There is a new openness and perhaps even expectation to disruptive marketing. In fact, when time tracking and scheduling company TSheets recently surveyed 400 U.S. employees, it found that 78 percent of respondents were happy to receive an alert from an app, even when its purpose was to sell them something. Additionally, 84 percent of respondents who receive special offers from apps use them. Finally, 48 percent of people said they like to receive notifications - when they are useful to them - and only one in 10 said they always ignore notifications.

locationSince app users welcome these notifications, it shouldn't come as a surprise that 77 percent of respondents said they allow apps to track location when they are not using them. After all, if they are not concerned with alerts disrupting their days, then they likely have little regard for what is happening in the background on their phones. What the survey found, however, is that people may be more concerned with how location-enabling impacts their battery than their privacy. This is, in fact, true when it comes to geofencing in the workplace. Geofencing, as TSheets describes it are invisible boundaries that apps use to send notifications or alerts to a smartphone when the person enters or exists a predetermined GPS location. There are reasons employers could introduce it in the workplace (like time tracking), but only 13 percent of respondents said they would like it if their employer introduced it. The biggest concern, however, was how long their cellphone battery would last while using the technology. 

This survey from TSheets, while limited to 400 respondents, is another in a long line of reports that indicate consumers will still risk privacy for convenience.