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Apps GDPR Compliance Report

A special report by Usercentrics uncovers pervasive privacy noncompliance across the mobile application market in the European Union. It shows how apps are in limbo, while websites and web-based ecommerce are increasingly “privacy first” and in compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Published November 15, 2022

Learn more in the special report by Usercentrics.

GDPR noncompliance on apps in the EU

In October 2022, Usercentrics conducted a study of 250 apps available on the EU app market to check the level of GDPR compliance across five popular categories that are used by millions of users every day.

The GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive clearly state that any personal data collected from users on apps must be on the basis of clear and explicit prior consent.

Using the leading app competitive intelligence provider, Apptopia, to conduct the research, the special report by Usercentrics studies the levels of noncompliance on the EU apps market. It shows the stark contrast between the risks of continued tracking of users without their consent and the clear market benefits of integrating consent and privacy compliance on apps.

Why is the EU apps market in such limbo? What are the market benefits of consent and compliance? What do recent studies show to be the most efficient ways to get value from user data?

Illustration of phone with apps as eyes and magnifying glasses - Cookiebot

What are the benefits of apps privacy compliance?

Since the EU’s GDPR came into effect in May 2018, online businesses have been slowly but surely turning towards a “privacy first” mentality and implementing solutions to collect personal data in a compliant way.

However, as the Usercentrics report on the EU mobile application market reveals, apps have fallen behind.

Meanwhile, consumer trends show a totally different movement: being compliant is actually a big market benefit

In a study by Ipsos and Google from 2022 of 20,000 EU consumers, the market benefits of being data privacy compliant via consent and control by users are clear:

  • providing a positive privacy experience can increase brand preference by 43%
  • the negative impact on brands of providing a poor privacy experience is almost as severe as that of a data breach
  • monetary incentives for sharing data (e.g. offering discounts in return for consent) may not always have a positive effect and can reduce the level of trust
  • when people trust a brand, they are twice as willing to share their personal data
  • increasing consumers’ feeling of control is the single most impactful way to earn their trust and boost brand preference.

As we head into the cookieless future, compliant data (data + user consent) will be the most valuable asset for businesses. 

In the years since the GDPR came into effect, we’ve seen a shift from data privacy being a tiresome and confusing legal requirement to becoming one of the most important competitive advantages for companies doing business on websites and apps.

Consumer trends show that users are not only becoming more aware of their privacy rights, but are also acting on them. A recent study by Deloitte and Google shows that 40% of users will delete an app if they have concerns over their data privacy.

Illustration of a phone with magnifying glasses and eyes - Cookiebot

If you have an app and you don’t have a consent management solution integrated for handling users’ data privacy in a compliant way, you are not just risking legal fines and data loss. You are missing out on what’s shaping up to be a key competitive advantage for online businesses in the years to come.

Want to know more about privacy noncompliance in the EU apps market?


Do you have an app but no consent management solution?

Usercentrics has a consent management platform (CMP) for Native Apps.Our SDK is easy to integrate, highly customizable and is built on unrivaled and reliable technology.

Get started today!


Usercentrics report on the EU apps market

Usercentrics App Consent Management Platform (CMP)

Study by Ipsos and Google

Study by Deloitte and Google