Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. users fear for privacy after Google buys Fitbit, California accuses Facebook of ignoring subpoenas, PayPal plans to make an in-store mobile payments push, 7 Ways AI Reduces Mobile Fraud and much more.
Google’s recent acquisition of Fitbit for $2.1bn has left many users worried the tech giant may soon have access to their most intimate health information – from the number of steps they take each day to their breathing patterns, sleep quality or menstrual cycles.
Fitbit, founded in San Francisco in 2007, tracks the health data of 28 million users. In a blogpost following the acquisition on Friday, Fitbit claimed user data would not be sold or used for Google advertising. “Consumer trust is paramount to Fitbit. Strong privacy and security guidelines have been part of Fitbit’s DNA since day one, and this will not change,” the company said in a statement.
California’s attorney general Xavier Becerra has accused Facebook of “continuing to drag its feet” by failing to provide documents to the state’s investigation into Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.
The attorney general said in a court filing Wednesday that Facebook had provided a “patently deficient” response to two sets of subpoenas for the previously undisclosed investigation started more than a year ago. “Facebook has provided no answers for nineteen interrogatories and produced no documents in response to six document requests,” the filing said.
Privacy and the protection of online communications have emerged among the main themes at this year’s Web Summit in Portugal, with a swathe of conference debates covering the issue.
One speaker, the pioneer cryptographer known as the “father of online privacy”, US-based David Chaum, on Wednesday launched XX Messenger.
Operated by Mr Chaum’s Elixxir project, XX Messenger is an app that uses blockchain technology for a messaging service that he says can’t be spied upon, and which continually scrubs out the metadata identifying sender and receiver.
The company is set to roll out new in-store payment efforts as soon as 2020, CEO Dan Schulman said in an interview with Axios. This initiative could see it introduce a digital wallet for physical stores and utilize NFC and QR code technology to enable in-store payments, and follows it removing the ability to make in-store payments via its mobile app in March 2018.
Schulman’s increased interest in in-store payments stems from mobile payments’ potential to offer additional value and capabilities. The CEO noted that if PayPal’s in-store value was just a “form factor difference” — meaning the difference in paying with a phone rather than a credit card — its physical payments solutions wouldn’t take off.
On average, there are 82 new rogue applications submitted per day to any given AppExchange or application platform, all designed to defraud consumers. Mobile and digital commerce are cybercriminals’ favorite attack surfaces because they are succeeding with a broad base of strategies for defrauding people and businesses.
Phishing, malware, smishing, or the use of SMS texts rather than email to launch phishing attempts are succeeding in gaining access to victims’ account credentials, credit card numbers, and personal information to launch identity theft breaches.
Think about how often you use your mobile; what percentage of that phone time is spent using apps? New research suggests that it can be as much as two hours and 57 minutes per day per person. Recent reports meanwhile also suggest that the global in-app advertising market was valued at $82bn in 2017 and is projected to reach $258bn by 2025.
The Drum, in partnership with mobile advertising company Smaato, has written a whitepaper looking at some of the challenges and opportunities around in-app advertising, especially given that many marketers are still struggling to include mobile apps in their marketing strategies.
China has officially launched research and development work for 6G mobile networks, having only just rolled out 5G.
The Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement posted Wednesday, that it will set up two working groups to carry out the task.
One group will consist of relevant government departments responsible for promoting how 6G research and development will be carried out. The other team will be made up of 37 universities, research institutes and enterprises, which will lay out the technical side of 6G and offer advice.
The blockchain community should immediately begin working on three issues to prevent being overtaken by quantum computers, a cryptography expert says.
Xinxin Fan, head of cryptography at privacy- and IoT-focused blockchain platform IoTeX, published an article in The International Business Times on Nov. 7, calling on the blockchain community to be constantly updated about the progress made on quantum computers.
While reiterating that short-term developments in quantum computing are “modest,” Fan urged that blockchains will have to keep pace to avoid being overtaken by quantum computers as they grow and improve.
Huawei has demonstrated a cellular IoT chip connecting to a Narrow–Band IoT (NB-IoT) network without using a SIM card.
nuSIM is an integrated alternative to existing SIM solutions, optimized for use in IoT networks. The rigorous downsizing of its SIM functionality combined with a straight forward digital provisioning process achieves significant advantages in terms of cost and overall efficiency.
Facebook may be in PR turmoil on any given day of the week but it doesn’t stop the company from ploughing ahead with new features. Its Facebook mobile app will reportedly integrate a new facial recognition feature soon to help people easier log into it.
We presume the argument will be that it’s easier than passwords as this is true for phone-wide systems like Apple’s Face ID on its iPhone X and 11 range. But that is a proven secure method, whereas here Facebook would use the front-facing camera on your phone to record a photo of your face. Given Facebook’s record with data misuse, we aren’t jumping at the chance to give our faces to them (even if pictures of us are online already).