54% of smartphone users are happy for their bedroom activity to be monitored by private companies

Yet more than half of smartphone users say their phone has had a virus or behaved strangely

A survey of smartphone users has revealed a highly lax attitude to monitoring of personal behaviour by third party companies - even in the bedroom. The study of 300 people found that well over half (54%) are happy with smartphone app makers trying to work out what they are up to in the bedroom, despite 52% of those surveyed saying their smartphone has either acted strangely or had a virus at some point.

The findings of the survey, by UK based internet safety and privacy specialists B9 Systems, found that smartphone users are savvy, but have a relaxed attitude towards how much their personal behaviour and information is monitored by the private companies who make the apps we all use every day.

68% of respondents said they know how to check all permissions used by any specific app on their phone and how to turn those permissions off. Meanwhile, 75% believe apps on smartphones are listening to users and then using that information to let companies advertise to them. But when asked 'Would you be happy to allow apps on your smartphone to listen to you and then use that information to let companies advertise to you?' only 50% said yes.

When asked if they knew WhatsApp is owned by Facebook 67% answered yes, yet a considerable 45% of those surveyed said they do not trust Facebook with their private data.

Quizzed about which smartphone functionalities they are comfortable with apps having access to a huge 92% said they are fine with apps looking at their calendar, 81% said camera access is fine and 80% are ok with apps knowing their location. About giving root privileges to private companies, a feature which allows app makers to override all permissions granted by the user, a massive 51% still said they are happy with allowing that.

For motion sensors it was 75% who said that is fine, the same figure for third parties knowing who all their contacts are. 74% are comfortable with their phone calls being accessible to private companies and 72% are OK with body sensors on their phone being accessed by companies. Use of speech recognition by third party app makers is acceptable to 74% of smartphone users.

About the amount of apps they have installed on their phones 47% said it was 20 or more, whereas 70% of people say they only actually use 10-15 apps. 68% said they use voice activated commands, apps or searches on their smartphones.

Stuart Spice, founder of B9 Systems, who commissioned the study, commented, "It's pretty amazing that half of smartphone users say their phone has behaved strangely or had a virus and yet so many are totally relaxed about their devices monitoring their behaviour, even in their bedrooms! It's important to know which companies have access to your personal information and what information they are gathering about you. A lot of our data is sent off to companies based in countries where it would be virtually impossible to legally recall that information. The line has to be drawn somewhere."

"Whilst there is great convenience to having supercomputers with amazing features in our pockets, we do need to start redrawing the boundaries a bit. Parents of children who have their own smartphones also need to be aware of how much information third parties, some of them criminal or nefarious, can gather through the devices we all now use so much."

"Our survey shows that we will allow private companies significant entry into our personal lives, yet many of us clearly do not trust those companies with our data, which is unsurprising considering the amount of data breaches we are constantly hearing about. With the tools B9 Systems provides to internet and smartphone users we help people to take back the control over their digital health and security."