Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. Independent scientific body issues 5G safety ruling, New data rules could empower patients but undermine privacy, mobile networks suffer outages as coronavirus crisis ramps up and much more…
The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) found no evidence suggesting 5G technologies pose a risk to human health, following a seven-year-long scientific study into the field.
In an update of guidelines last issued in 1998, the body detailed research covering 5G, AM and DAB radio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G and 4G phones. In a statement, ICNIRP chair Eric van Rongen said the most important outcome from its studies was “that 5G technologies will not be able to cause harm when these new guidelines are adhered to”.
In a move intended to give Americans greater control over their medical information, the Trump administration announced broad new rules on Monday that will allow people for the first time to use apps of their choice to retrieve data like their blood test results directly from their health providers.
The Department of Health and Human Services said the new system was intended to make it as easy for people to manage their health care on smartphones as it is for them to use apps to manage their finances.
Mobile phone networks experienced service interruptions on Thursday following Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s announcement of new measures to try to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Customers complained of calls not connecting or dropping on all networks, and slow or non-existent data connections.
The issue appeared to originate with Three Ireland, which said it had a “power issue” at one of its data centres, potentially causing knock-on effects for other networks as customer repeatedly tried to place calls to the affected numbers.
In a Dimensional Research survey of corporate decision-makers on smartphone use, 93% of survey respondents said they continuously had a smartphone available for use during business hours; 66% said they used a smartphone most often when they were traveling; and 55% reported that if they could access data more readily on their smartphones, it would help decision-making.
Although much less fatal than the Ebola and previous SARS virus epidemics, the current coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has spread to more people (more than 125,000 in fewer than 50 days) in more countries (more than 120 countries) in a much shorter time frame (50 days). On March 11, 2020, the WHO has formally declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
Like many other outbreaks, COVID-19 faces serious challenges such as identifying the origin of the epidemic (or the patient zero), reducing the spread of the virus, and having enough medical resources to treat all the patients with severe symptoms.
The underpinnings of how app store analytics platforms operate were exposed this week by BuzzFeed, which uncovered the network of mobile apps used by popular analytics firm Sensor Tower to amass app data. The company had operated at least 20 apps, including VPNs and ad blockers, whose main purpose was to collect app usage data from end users in order to make estimations about app trends and revenues. Unfortunately, these sorts of data collection apps are not new — nor unique to Sensor Tower’s operation.
The average rural farmer in Zambia lives several kilometres away from their nearest neighbour and even further away from the nearest settlement where shops, agro-dealers and other services, such as agency banking and mobile money booths, would be located. Because the farmers live in remote locations making payments, sending and receiving money are activities not done at their convenience.
Zambia has over two million smallholder farmers and a rural population of about 9.7 million people, with approximately 40% of them being financially excluded. These rural people do not have adequate access to financial infrastructure and services. Not being able to make payments for supplies, receive digital payments or send money as needed means farmers’ productivity is limited.
Guardsquare, the mobile application security platform, said it will provide built-in security for mobile games through a product integration with Unity Technologies‘ game engine.
The company said its layered products DexGuard for Android and iXGuard for iOS will provide protection for mobile games built on Unity, which is the most popular platform for mobile games. The Leuven, Belgium-based Guardsquare has more than 600 global customers such as retail banks for its security software.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) initiated legal action against Facebook over allegedly disclosing the personal data of more than 300,000 users to a third-party application associated with Cambridge Analytica.
In a filing to the Federal Court of Australia, the regulator claimed Facebook had “seriously and/or repeatedly interfered with the privacy of approximately 311,127 Australian Facebook users” between 12 March 2014 and 1 May 2015, by sharing their personal information to the This is Your Digital Life app, which was then allegedly used by Cambridge Analytica for political profiling.