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

This week..  Wikileaks exposes MI5 and CIA spyware on TVs and smartphones, WhatsApp makes its enterprise messaging move, consumers have mobile security concerns around payments, Google under fire in Denmark for breaking mobile privacy rules and much more.

Wikileaks claims MI5 and CIA developed spyware to turn televisions and smart phones into bugs

Telegraph

British spy agencies worked with the CIA to turn televisions and smart phones into bugging devices that can record conversations and even take photographs, according to leaked intelligence documents.

The CIA is accused of running a secret computer hacking programme giving its agents access to everyday items including mobile phones, TVs and iPads.

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WhatsApp reportedly testing business chat tools

VentureBeat

WWhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service used by more than 1 billion people worldwide, is testing a system that would let businesses talk directly to WhatsApp users for the first time, according to communications about the project seen by Reuters.

The tests, which are being conducted with a handful of companies that are part of the Y Combinator startup incubator, are an important signal of how WhatsApp plans to make money from its massively popular service. WhatsApp has not developed a business model in the three years since Facebook Inc bought it for a hefty $19 billion.

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U.S. consumers now spend 5 hours per day on mobile devices

TechCrunch

The time U.S. users are spending in mobile apps is continuing to grow; according to new data released this week by analytics firm Flurry, we’re up to 5 hours per day on our mobile devices. This follows on news from January that said the time spent in mobile apps had increased 69 percent year-over-year.

Five hours per day is a 20 percent increase compared with the fourth quarter of 2015, and seems to come at the expense of mobile browser usage, which has dropped significantly over the years.

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AR/VR market revolution will need a 5G backbone

Telecom Asia

It is well understood that the continued growth of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will have a far-reaching impact on a number of markets. However, to support this far-reaching impact requires a capable connectivity backbone.

A massive bandwidth requirement for premium content experiences combined with ubiquitous all-day device usage will bring about an unprecedented network strain, unable to be fully supported with current network infrastructure.

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Security concerns hold back mobile payment adoption

Beta News

Businesses and consumers recognize the benefits of mobile payments, but worries over security are holding back adoption according to a new report.

The study by Oxford Economics interviewed 2,000 consumers and 300 business executives and finds that 62 percent of consumers say mobile money enhances their buying experience, and 72 percent of executives say mobile payments can boost their sales.

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Alibaba buys Paytm stake from Reliance Capital, Chinese giant digs into India

TechInAsia

Reliance Capital, the financial services arm of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group, has sold its stake in One97 – the parent company of Paytm – for US$42 million to Alibaba. There’s no official word on it yet, but a source in Paytm who’s familiar with the deal confirmed it.

This appears to deepen the Chinese giant’s commitment to the Indian market. The Alibaba purchase of the Reliance Capital stake comes close on the heels of its investment of US$177 million in a US$200 million funding for Paytm Ecommerce last week.

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‘Secure’ messaging app riddled with security flaws

Info Security Magazine

A messaging app reportedly popular with White House aides had several security issues that could have resulted in user details being exposed, security researchers have announced.

According to researchers at IOActive, Confide, an encrypted messaging service for Windows, Android and Apple devices, had “multiple security vulnerabilities of varying severities.”

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Google reported by Danish watchdog for unlimited data storage

Reuters

A Danish consumer watchdog has reported Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) to the Danish Data Protection Agency for potentially breaking privacy laws by not capping the amount of time personal data is stored on Google’s servers, the watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday.

Web companies such as Google and Facebook (FB.O) face increased scrutiny over how and where they store location and search history data from users of smartphones and mail accounts.

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Sneaky adware exploits Android users with precision targeting

ZD Net

Malware using new precision-targeted tactics to distribute adware hid on the Google Play store for two months and infected over 10,000 Android users before being removed.

Called ‘Skinner’ the malware will display unwanted ads to user, but does so in a way which avoids raising suspicion that they’re malicious by specifically targeting them to go with the app the user is currently using.

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Amex partners with Uber to provide card members with exclusive in-app benefits

Mobile Marketing Magazine

American Express (AMEX) has teamed up Uber to provide their platinum card members with an exclusive in-app Uber experience.

The new ‘Uber Rides with Platinum’ benefit provides AMEX platinum members with up to $200 in annual Uber credits for rides within the US, along with Uber VIP status where available. Card members will receive $15 in Uber credit per month, with an additional $20 bonus in December, when their AMEX platinum card is added as a payment method in the Uber app. The benefit will become available to card members started 30 March 2017.

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