In the fourth quarter of 2012, consumers worldwide bought approximately 217 million smartphones, which weigh about four ounces and fit in the palm of the hand. Consumers derive enormous benefits from these devices, which are used to make audio and video phone calls, buy movie tickets, check traffic on the regular commute, browse a digital library while waiting for an appointment, and connect with friends for spontaneous get-togethers.
The mobile ecosystem has changed in other ways, too. The complexity of the ecosystem raises 21st century concerns: When people use their mobile devices, they are sharing information about their daily lives with a multitude of players. How many companies are privy to this information? How often do they access such content and how do they use it or share it? What do consumers understand about who is getting their information and how they are using it?