Mobile Privacy Perception in Germany


To understand German behavior and preferences when it comes to privacy, big tech, and mobile browsing. This will be used for a podcast on mobile internet use and privacy in Germany.

Early Findings


  • A survey by the European Commission found that 70% of Germans are concerned about their data being possibly misused.
  • Another study from 2016, found that Germans were "more active in privacy management, applied more privacy settings, and were more likely to restrict the visibility of their profile info."
  • Studies have also shown that German users were less likely than U.S. users to post confidential information on their Facebook page. Only 40% of the German population is registered on Facebook.
  • A 2019 study found that German participants had a preference for "DIY privacy, and were much more skeptical about the extent of control they had over their data."
  • Another 2019 survey found that 72% of German respondents felt that their data was rather/completely unsafe on the internet.
  • Roughly "70 % of companies in Germany were the victims of cyber attacks in 2018. Of these, the most common types were theft of IT and communication devices, as well as sensitive digital documents."

Mobile Browsing in Germany

  • Germany has roughly 60 million smartphone users. Mobile usage in Germany is at 88%.
  • Samsung is the most popular vendor in Germany with a 44.7% share over other vendors in 2018.
  • The most popular mobile Operating System in Germany is Android, which has 67.7% of the total market, followed by iOS with 31%.
  • Chrome is the most used mobile browser in Germany with 38.5% of web traffic share, followed by Safari with 30.1%.
  • In terms of internet penetration, over 72 million Germans are online, which is roughly 90% of the population.

Online Payments

  • Germans prefer to be invoiced when purchasing online so that the buyer can examine the product/s upon delivery before paying. This is the case for almost 40% of online purchases in Germany.
  • The use of PayPal has been steadily growing in Germany, with 31% of online purchases using this service.
  • German buyers are cautious want to have trust in online payment methods, and PayPal has successfully met this need.
  • "Credit cards and debit cards account for only 11% of online transactions. 24% of German buyers will not continue with the purchase if their preferred method of payment is not offered.

Big Tech

  • In terms of big tech, there did not appear to be any specific concerns among Germans in terms of privacy. There is mainly concern by many German business leaders and politicians who feel that they are falling behind in terms of Big Tech.
  • "Leading German executives also worry that Silicon Valley tech companies could overshadow significant parts of the German industry due to their large scale."


  • For the initial hour, we were able to identify some studies and survey results that gave insights on German behavior and preferences when it comes to privacy and mobile browsing. No surveys or studies appeared publicly available specific to German perception of Big Tech.
  • In the course of our research, we also came across additional insights on payment methods used by German e-commerce businesses, as well as the state of internet freedom in Germany, which might also be of interest as they relate to internet use and privacy in Germany.
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