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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.

This week..  Analytics startup accused of sharing private user data, news from the Samsung/Apple patent case, mobile overtakes desktop in ad-spend and much more.

US start-up Geofeedia ‘allowed police to track protesters’


Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have revoked access to their data to an analytics firm accused of selling information that allowed US police to track activists and protesters.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Chicago-based Geofeedia had allowed police to “sneak in through a side door” to monitor protests.

Geofeedia said it was committed to the principles of personal privacy.

It comes amid growing concern about government access to social media.

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Supreme Court may reel in Apple v. Samsung damage award

ars technica

The long legal war between Apple and Samsung reached the Supreme Court today. For the first time in a century, the high court considered what the limits of “design patents” should be.

Until they took up a starring role in Apple v. Samsung, design patents were like the poor, long-lost cousins of the better-known “utility” patents that cover machines themselves.

Here’s how this long-lasting technology case made its way to the high court: In 2012, the first Apple v. Samsung trial ended with a jury slapping Samsung with a $1.05 billion verdict for infringing Apple patents and trademarks. After appeals, that got whittled down to $548 million based entirely on patent infringement. With this Supreme Court case, Samsung is looking to get back the majority of that—the $399 million that’s based on three design patents.

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Mobile ad spend is now bigger than desktop, and here’s some things to think about

The Drum

On the opening day of the trade body’s IAB Engage event (the first to be held over two days) it released the figures with Tim Elkington, IAB chief strategy officer, declaring shift in spend a landmark moment, as advertisers’ spending habits finally tallied with consumers’ media consumption habits.

“It’s a significant moment, as mobile now overtakes desktop,” he said, pointing out that people now spend more time on their phones (which are now more akin to computers).

“Consequently, marketers devote more ad spend to mobile as they increasingly cotton on to the fact that people essentially carry an ad platform with them wherever they are,” he added.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 disaster shows limits of mobile battery tech


Now that Samsung is ending production of its Galaxy Note 7 due to battery problems – and perhaps another operating flaw only as-yet alluded to – the question is where the company will go next. Samsung’s rise has been premised on its investment in high-end quality consumer goods, and the Galaxy Note 7 has damaged that reputation.

The battery fires made the phone, to paraphrase Ralph Nader, unsafe at any charge. (A stopgap measure to cap the charge at 60% to avoid fires did not resolve the problem.)

The South Korean technology giant may now lose up to $2.8 billion over the recall, “which would be enough to wipe out the entire mobile division’s operating profits for the fourth quarter” according to The Wall Street Journal. The New York Times cited figures from Strategy Analytics showing a $10 billion annual loss overall.

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What ‘mobile’ should mean for healthcare

Tech Crunch

Ask a set of healthcare professionals about the future and they’ll answer: “Mobile.”

Mobile technology is nearing ubiquity in America; a Pew Research report shows 64 percent of all adult Americans own a smartphone, and ownership rates among millennials reach above 80 percent. It’s clear that to stay relevant and access the next generation of patients, the healthcare industry must innovate its mobile efforts.

But after a number of recent discussions with healthcare executives, I’ve noticed the industry is lacking a clear definition of what “mobile” really means. Continue the conversation with the same set of professionals being asked about the future and you might notice some use “apps” and “mobile” interchangeably. Others use it as a term to refer to anything digital. A few might not be able to define it at all.

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Mobile tech makes financial services sector more loyal, productive and satisfied

Saudi Gazette

DUBAI — Nearly a third of workers (31%) in the financial services sector report that the use of mobile technology in and out of the workplace increases their loyalty to their employer, according to research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

The study also found that mobile optimized working leaves financial services workers feeling more satisfied (50%), creative (42%) and productive (56%) in their work. To underline the popularity of mobile technology within the workplace, 27% of financial services employees state they would not work for a company that would not allow them to use their mobile devices for work.

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Mining industry’s Ubank takes ‘quantum leap’ into digital realm

IT Web Africa

Mining industry focused Ubank, said to be South Africa’s only wholly black-owned bank, believes its recent launch of a mobile and digital payment platform, developed by mobile banking solution provider WIZZIT International, will help drive service delivery to other markets and boost revenue.

Established in 1975, Ubank is described as a niche financialservices provider specifically for underserviced mining communities within gold and platinum sectors.

Having identified a need for a comprehensive mobile banking service, Ubank decided to replace their existing system with the WIZZIT solution.

The platform, called Vulindlela, is designed to integrate into all leading banking back-end systems, as well as mobile network operators and value added service providers.

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Spotify expands carrier billing in Asia with Fortumo

Mobile Payments Today

Spotify has expanded direct carrier billing availability in Asia thanks to a partnership with Fortumo. As part of this partnership, Fortumo has introduced a carrier billing program specifically for Spotify users in Indonesia and Philippines.

“Asia leads the growth of online content consumption and digital merchants are increasingly focusing on user acquisition in the region,” said Andrea Boetti, vice president of global business development at Fortumo.

“Collecting payments from these users is not easy however, as most people do not own a credit card. Carrier billing solves this problem by letting any mobile phone owner make online payments. We are very happy to help Spotify grow and monetize their user base in Asia.”

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For local banks, the mobile future is now

Tulsa World

A few weeks ago, Oklahoma’s largest bank hit a key milestone, one its been watching closely for the past four years.

For the first time, BOK Financial had half of its deposits made digitally — at an ATM that scans checks or via a mobile phone the same way — across its eight-state footprint. That meant the company’s customers were, like most of those with bank accounts, embracing the mobile reality of modern banking.

Officials from three local banks, including BOKF, say that mobile adoption rate is only going to increase as existing consumers become more comfortable with technology and as younger consumers, who are already more comfortable with smart phones, become a larger part of the customer base.

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