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

This week..  Ring doorbell ‘gives Facebook and Google user data’, Consumers will share location data if it’s clear why and they have control, voice and video 4G provision improves in Brazil and much more…

Ring doorbell ‘gives Facebook and Google user data’


Ring doorbells are providing customer data to companies such as Facebook and Google, an investigation suggests.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation found the Ring app was “packed” with third-party tracking, sending out customers’ personally identifiable information.

Five companies were receiving a range of information, including names, IP addresses and mobile networks, it said.

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Consumers will share location data if it’s clear why and they have control


A new report on mobile data privacy from location intelligence provider HEROW was driven by a now-famous New York Times story in December of 2019.

That story described location data brokerage systems that offer what is in effect total surveillance for sale, which the report – “Mobile Location in the Age of Privacy” – describes as “highly condemnable.” The report includes data obtained through a survey last November of 1357 respondents.

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Whatsapp Is About To Stop Working For Millions – What Are The Best Alternatives?


WhatsApp will stop working on dozens of older phone models from 1 February, meaning millions of people will no longer have access to the world’s most popular messaging app.

The Facebook-owned app claims the mass cull is necessary in order to protect the security of its users, as it is no longer actively developing features and updates for certain older handsets.

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Google aims to unify its workplace tools and messaging apps into one service

The Verge

Google is working on another communications application, this one for workplaces, that will combine several different platforms it already operates, according to a new report from The Information. This new product is designed to unify different Google services the company sells to businesses, including parts of its G Suite like corporate-grade Gmail and Google Drive.

It would also bundle together the various, somewhat confusing variants of Hangouts. Once a consumer-focused communications platform, Hangouts is now geared toward enterprise customers.

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Voice and video 4G provision improves in Brazil


The mobile network experience has seen “notable improvements” in Brazil, particularly in 4G metrics such as video and voice consumption, according to a new report.

The Mobile Network Experience Report by mobile analytics firm Opensignal has found that the introduction of 4G on the 700 MHz spectrum band in Brazil is having a big impact in the last six months, with users on networks that have implemented it spending more time on 4G and enjoying faster average download speeds.

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UK government to improve consumer IoT security standards

Mobile News

The UK government will introduce a new law aimed at strengthening security standards for the consumer Internet of Things.

The plans have been drawn up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) and will ensure all consumer smart devices sold in the UK adhere to three rigorous security requirements for the Internet of Things (IoT).

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MTN South Africa bets on mobile money relaunch to reach millions without bank accounts


MTN South Africa relaunched its mobile money service on Thursday, more than three years after ditching a similar offering, as it bets on improved technology to attract millions of South Africans who have limited access to banking services.

Mobile money services have proved hugely popular in parts of Africa, with Kenya’s Safaricom a pioneer of mobile phone cash transfers via its M-Pesa mobile payment service.

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This New Facebook Tool Reveals How You Are Being Tracked Online


As firms such as Apple push privacy as a unique selling point, Facebook knows it needs to be in on the game. Today’s users want to be aware of what their data is being used for, and to have more control over it.

For this reason, the social network has chosen Global Data Privacy Day to launch a new privacy tool called Off-Facebook Activity. The feature allows you to view a summary of the information the social network receives about your use of non-Facebook apps and websites.  You can then disconnect the data from your account if you wish to.

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NHS may use people’s phone data to predict mental health issues

New Scientist

An algorithm to predict which people may experience a mental health crisis has been trialled in the UK and found effective enough for routine use. A version that would track people’s mobile phone calls, messages and location in a bid to improve accuracy is now being considered.

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust worked with Alpha, a division of Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica, which owns O2, to see if there was any benefit in automatically flagging the people thought most at risk of experiencing a mental health crisis to NHS staff. The results of the Predictive Analytics project, released under freedom of information rules, suggest there is.

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Nintendo’s mobile games have made over $1 billion, mostly thanks to Fire Emblem Heroes

The Verge

Nintendo has crossed over $1 billion in revenue from its mobile games for Android and iOS according to a new report from SensorTower — largely carried by the popular free-to-play Fire Emblem Heroes, which was released in 2017. It has since gone on to earn $656 million, more than every other Nintendo mobile game combined.

Fire Emblem Heroes is a “gacha” game, where players spend in-game items to randomly pull new characters with different abilities, items, and stats. Unlike games like Fortnite, where players can buy new character skins outright or earn them over time through a Battle Pass, everything in Fire Emblem Heroes is distributed randomly: you might get the rare character you’re hoping for on your first pull, or spend hundreds of dollars on thousands of pulls to never get what you want.

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