To determine how well companies that supply POS apps inform consumers of these issues, Option consommateurs (OC) studied their privacy policies, and tried out all the POS apps likely to be used in Montreal during a given period. OC’s analysis revealed that many of the privacy policies are flawed. Sometimes they are difficult to access or are unclear, and sometimes they are poorly adapted to relaying information via mobile phone.
In order to get the pulse of consumers, OC held six focus groups of users of POS apps: three in Montreal and three in Toronto. The majority of participants were surprised at how much information these applications collect and share with third parties, to the point that some stated that they would consider changing their user habits.
Consequently, it is essential to have confidentiality policies that are transparent and easy to understand. Some, however, are not. Above all, companies should be required to improve their practices by showing respect for privacy issues throughout the entire process, starting with the design of the device itself (integrated Privacy by Design). Only then can consumers feel well protected, and only then can the confidence that should be a prerequisite to the mobile payment system be ensured.
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OCA Funded ResearchThis research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.
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Source: Consumer Policy Research Database