AW Poll: privacy is paramount for you, but with an asterisk

After the Androidworld theme week on privacy, it is time to focus on the results of the AW Poll. Because: do you prefer massive ease of use over privacy, or is it the other way around and privacy is paramount? In the AW Poll results you can read which direction within the Androidworld community is most popular.

Privacy and (/ or) ease of use

Most popular apps and services, such as WhatsApp and Twitter, are available as an open-source alternative. Such services claim to guarantee your privacy and offer a glimpse behind the scenes by making the used source code of their apps or service publicly available. While that is not necessarily a recipe for a privacy-friendly app, it does contribute to the ‘control options’ for end users.

Fortunately, privacy is so much more than installing open-source applications. You can also put your privacy first with apps from the Play Store that are not open-source. You could even use non-privacy-friendly apps by providing them with as little personal information as possible.

Privacy-friendly alternatives, such as OpenMaps for navigation and DuckDuckGo for daily searches, are not always the best option: they lack features that apps like Google Maps and Google Search have.

Dichotomy for app developers

This is often due to the organizational structure – because they don’t commit to advertisers, they can’t hire developers and have to make do with volunteers, who often have less time and experience. Bottom line, this produces apps that ‘look less slick’ and that score lower in terms of user-friendliness. According to Donny Maasland of ESET Netherlands, this dichotomy is the “core problem of internet security”. Developers must choose between privacy and functionality while developing the app, Maasland said.

Ultimately, it is all about ensuring that as little personal data as possible ends up in the hands of parties such as Facebook and Google, who use the data to make money. Although since 2018, with the introduction of the GDPR legislation on privacy, more attention has been paid to privacy and more requirements are attached to it, personal data remains worth a lot of money.

AW Poll: what do you choose?

In the recent AW Poll, we asked you which side of the dichotomy you stand on: do you opt for privacy, or is user-friendliness still more important? The result of the poll shows that you opt for privacy, but add an asterisk. Apps that are used to replace other applications must perform their most important tasks well, according to 63 percent of the readers who cast a vote.

Ease of use is also an important asset for you. With 22 percent of the votes, the option for ease of use and a strong user interface took second place. Finally, there are readers who indicate that they will ignore privacy-friendly apps and services if they do not contain the same “powerful functions” of the non-privacy-friendly apps or services, according to 11 percent of readers.

Ultimately, preference is therefore given to privacy-friendly apps, but whether an application that claims to protect the privacy of users is also used depends on the extent to which the app can fulfill its tasks. Do you agree, or do you always opt for privacy-friendly apps (or not)? Let us know in the comments at the bottom of this article.

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