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

This week..  WhatsApp hack fallout,  carriers are finally stopping sale of location data, Japan to unify mobile payment codes, Vodafone is first UK mobile brand to announce 5G launch and much more.

WhatsApp hack: Is any app or computer truly secure?


WhatsApp has confirmed that a security flaw in the app let attackers install spy software on their targets’ smartphones. That has left many of its 1.5 billion users wondering how safe the “simple and secure” messaging app really is.

On Wednesday, chip-maker Intel confirmed that new problems discovered with some of its processors could reveal secret information to attacks.

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A year after outcry, carriers are finally stopping sale of location data, letters to FCC show

Tech Crunch

Reports emerged a year ago that all the major cellular carriers in the U.S. were selling location data to third-party companies, which in turn sold them to pretty much anyone willing to pay. New letters published by the FCC  show that despite a year of scrutiny and anger, the carriers have only recently put an end to this practice.

We already knew that the carriers, like many large companies, simply could not be trusted. In January it was clear that promises to immediately “shut down,” “terminate” or “take steps to stop” the location-selling side business were, shall we say, on the empty side.

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There are now over 1bn cellular IoT connections around the world

Mobile Marketing Magazine

The number of cellular internet of things (IoT) subscribers jumped to over 1bn in 2018, driven mainly by huge growth in China, according to Berg Insight.

IoT connections increased by 70 per cent in 2018 to reach 1.2bn – a figure which is set to grow to 9bn by 2023. In 2018, 63 per cent of the global cellular IoT installed base was accounted for by China.

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Japan to unify mobile payment codes, enlisting Chinese giants

Nikkei Asian Review

Line and Alibaba Group Holding are among five major internet businesses from Japan and China that will standardize QR codes that are scanned to make payments via smartphones in Japan, Nikkei has learned.

The others joining this undertaking are online flea market operator Mercari and mobile carrier NTT Docomo from Japan and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay from China.

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Mobile accounts for nearly half of all banking transactions in Brazil


Brazilians have embraced mobile banking as their preferred means to handle their banking affairs as the channel accounted for nearly half of all transactions carried out last year, according to a new report.

The latest research on banking technology trends carried out by Deloitte on behalf of the Brazilian Banking Federation (FEBRABAN) also shows that the number of transactions overall, so any interaction involving a financial element or not, has seen an increase of 24 percent in 2018 in relation to the prior year.

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Vodafone is first UK mobile brand to announce 5G launch


Vodafone will launch super-fast 5G mobile internet in July, the company announced this morning.

It is the first mobile operator to confirm a 5G launch date. Vodafone said both personal and business users would be able to sign up for the service.

However, just seven cities will be involved in the initial roll-out in July: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

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New Privacy Guidelines Released by Biometrics Institute Reflect GDPR Concerns

Mobile ID World

The Biometrics Institute has released new privacy guidelines for any and all organizations operating in the biometrics space. The universal guidelines are specifically written to ensure that biometrics researchers, manufacturers, and operators know how to handle people’s personal information responsibly.

While the Institute generally updates its privacy guidelines every two years, this is the first update that accounts for the newly implemented GDPR privacy regulations. The new guidelines reflect those more stringent policy requirements, and aim to address any gaps that are not necessarily captured by existing legislation.

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Google’s new ad formats leverage machine learning to sharpen privacy focus

Marketing dive

Google kicked off its annual Google Marketing Live presentation for marketers today by unveiling a slate of new advertising products and solutions for the year ahead. Many of them were focused on mobile and were presented with consumer privacy in mind. First up at the San Francisco show, which was livestreamed, was a format called Discovery ads that looks to reach users when they’re most open to finding new and unexpected products and services.

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TikTok tops the iOS App Store for the fifth quarter in a row

Tech Crunch

Despite a $5.7 million FTC fine and changes to restrict its use by those younger than 13 years old, TikTok retained its No. 1 position as the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store for the fifth consecutive quarter, according to a new report from Sensor Tower. The app saw more than 33 million App Store downloads during Q1, and was followed by YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger to round out the top five.

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Smart thinking: How attitudes to mobile tech are changing

Big Hospitality

Mobile technology is fast moving and complex, but with the right partner restaurants can use it to boost spend, manage operational pain points and generate crucial data.

Restaurant technology has changed rapidly over the past decade, with one of the largest shifts being driven by the widespread adoption of mobile technologies which are now used for everything from point of sale to inventory management to customer loyalty programs.

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