Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. China warns Apple over app that tracks Hong Kong police, new Twitter privacy breach, FBI investigates West Virginia’s blockchain elections and much more.
China’s state media has accused Apple of endorsing and protecting “rioters” in Hong Kong’s increasingly violent protests by listing an app on its app store that tracks the movement of police in the city.
The condemnation, by the People’s Daily, a Chinese Communist party mouthpiece, appears to be China’s latest move to pressure foreign companies to toe the line after its state TV and Chinese companies cancelled collaboration with the US National Basketball Association over comments by a team official in support of Hong Kong’s protests.
Prepare for a media privacy storm. Twitter has admitted the “mistake” of using private email addresses and phone numbers, provided by users for “safety or security purposes—for example, two-factor authentication” for advertising purposes. And, yes, this is the exact same issue that caused Facebook so much grief and was one of the prompts for the abuses of user privacy investigated by the FTC.
During the 2018 midterm elections, somebody tried to hack Voatz, the blockchain-based voting system used by West Virginia. The attack was unsuccessful, but is under investigation by the FBI, said Andrew Warner, West Virginia’s secretary of state in an Oct. 1 press conference.
“In last year’s election, we detected activity that may have been an attempt to penetrate West Virginia’s mobile voting process,” said Warner. “No penetration occurred and the security protocols to protect our election process worked as designed. The IP addresses from which the attempts were made have been turned over to the FBI for investigation. The investigation will determine if crimes were committed.”
Cash is still king in India. But rapid adoption of technology and a concerted push from the government are starting to change things. Mobile payment systems are booming, though how wide their reach can be in India remains uncertain.
Reddy, 27, who goes by a single name, has first-hand experience of the pace of change after starting to accept digital payments at his Bangalore grocery store six months ago. Initially less than a tenth of transactions were made digitally, he says, but today almost all are. “It’s gone full reverse in six months,” Reddy says. “Almost 99 per cent of customers are using cashless.”
The combination of a growing global pet population and an increasingly young, tech-literate demographic of pet owners is seeing the explosion of a new industry: pet tech.
In the same way that the rise of AI-powered data analytics and IoT enabled consumer devices has given us smart homes, smart cars and smart cities, the technology behind Industry 4.0 is also giving us smart pets. A recent survey by Michelson Found Animals Foundation, for example, found that 56% of pet parents have special tech just for their pets.
Two decades ago, in 1999, the Nokia 3310 was unleashed upon the world. One could argue it signified the moment that mobile phones became not a nice-to-have, but an integral part of our daily reality; an accessory, an identity, and latterly, a legend. Some 126m of the handsets were sold. According to the World Telecommunications Development Report 1999, mobile was emerging as a ‘mini industry within its own right,’ worth around $155bn. Fast forward to now and these figures seem cute. Spending on mobile advertising alone is due to hit $165.7bn this year.
These are dark days for trust. Darkest of all for marketers and advertisers.
Only 3% of people trust marketing and advertising, the lowest of any industry or practice, and that trust is falling fastest among millennials, an ominous sign for the future.
We have no one to blame but ourselves.
Like everyone else, we’ve been blinded by the promise of tech’s false promise of “Big Data Solves Everything.” Martech is driving the dialog in our industry right now, and they’re telling us that collecting as much consumer data as possible — regardless of the actual value of that data, and regardless of our consumer’s best interests — will reveal a magic growth formula.
Mobile ad fraud is an issue for everyone working in the programmatic industry, and it’s clear that there is an overwhelming tide of parties committing it.
Many sources suggest that 40% of a typical advertising investment ends up being fraudulent. Within this, global loss to mobile-based ad fraud is estimated to make up almost half of total digital ad fraud.
Improving push notification performance is perhaps not high on your to-do list. Perhaps you are spending more time on App Store Optimisation (ASO) to increase app downloads. But, if you’re spending time (and money) getting more app users, you need to improve their user experience with a good push notifications strategy. You might think that having a push notification strategy is simply enough to increase app retention rates.
However, implementing push notifications are just the beginning of your mobile marketing journey. Like any mobile marketing, and like ASO, you need to analyse the performance and optimise the push notification campaigns.