9 out of 10 mobile titles not compliant with privacy regulations

90% of 269 titles ignored user privacy in some form

9 out of 10 mobile titles not compliant with privacy regulations

Around 90% of top iOS and Android titles are not compliant with user privacy regulations.

That’s according to a new study conducted by consent management platform Usercentrics who conducted a study of 269 iOS and Android titles, specifically those with at least 150k daily active users. They reportedly uncovered 94% of those in the EMEA region and 86% in North America collected personal data without user consent.

Global director of apps solutions at Usercentrics, Valerio Sudrio commented “Despite the threat of large fines for noncompliance and consumers’ increasing desire to have control of their personal data, it's clear from the study that most mobile game developers are still putting profit over privacy.

“The app stores, ad networks and premium brand advertisers are pushing the industry towards an inevitable consent-based future, and developers and publishers need to realize that compliant data (personal data + consent) will be their most valuable asset going into that future,” he said.

The adpocalypse

These findings are clarified as being in violation of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ePrivacy Directive. It is not entirely clear what level of user data is being collected, but with IDFA still in recent memory it’s clear that user privacy is still a major issue for companies and regulators. Self-regulation is an important step to maintain trust and as some have observed, crucial for developers and publishers.

As Paul Gardner from Wiggin pointed out at his PGC London talk earlier this year, the best practice is to anticipate any potential violations or points of concern for regulators. In this case, whether or not these are minor violations of user consent, ignoring them could lead to issues down the line. Especially if it gets to the point that further action is taken.

As Usercentrics' study observes it’s not only regulation and legal issues that may arise, but as more networks and premium brands insist on only using compliant data, it may become just as much an issue for daily operation too.

Staff Writer

Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.