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

This week..  COVID-19 could set a new norm for surveillance and privacy,  TikTok accused of violating children’s privacy,  Jack Ma’s open banking strategy gets a boost from lockdown and much more…

COVID-19 could set a new norm for surveillance and privacy


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways we interact and has everyone thinking more about our health and well-being. But that shift in mindset means that daily activities like going grocery shopping or simple things like standing in an elevator will come with even more surveillance strings attached.

The response by governments and the tech industry to the coronavirus outbreak has already raised many concerns about privacy from contact tracing apps, mobile location data tracking and police surveillance drones. The outbreak has also brought new privacy issues, as companies beef up surveillance with tech like thermal cameras and facial recognition in preparation for when people return to their everyday lives.

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TikTok Violating Children’s Privacy, Say Privacy Groups


Privacy watchdogs say that the popular TikTok video app is violating a children’s privacy law and putting kids at risk.

A coalition of 20 groups, including Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy, filed a complaint Thursday with the Federal Trade Commission saying that TikTok is collecting personal information of kids under 13 without their parents’ consent.

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Jack Ma’s open banking strategy gets a boost from lockdown

Live Mint

Billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Services Group saw a surge in Chinese banks seeking out its digital technology to keep business flowing after the coronavirus outbreak shuttered branches across the world’s most populous nation.
The number of customers paying for Ant to help them build mobile apps and provide cloud computing power jumped by 175% in the two months through April, and it’s now working with more than 200 lenders, according to the company. Inquiries to collaborate with the tech giant increased by 400% over the period.

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Chronic Tacos On Using AI To Fight COVID-Related Fraud


The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting industries around the world, but few have been hit as hard as restaurants. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have resulted in restaurant traffic sinking by 70 percent in the last two weeks of March alone, forcing these eateries to generate their revenue solely from takeout and delivery services.

Many restaurants are relying on third-party apps like Grubhub and DoorDash for delivery services, but these come with challenges of their own. Their commission fees can range as high as 40 percent of each order and eat into restaurant margins, which even in the best of times are thin. Restaurants thus face a catch-22: continue using these apps at a severely reduced or even negative margin, or cease using them and risk losing one of their only revenue streams.

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IoT trends: Artificial intelligence leads Twitter mentions in Q1 2020


Verdict lists the top five terms tweeted on IoT in Q1 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Artificial intelligence – 7,534 mentions – Tech innovations in the form of robotics, automated parking, and more, the use cases of artificial intelligence across industries such as retail, automotive, and smart cities, were popularly discussed in Q1 2020.

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UK mobile users want refunds for unused data in lockdown

Tech Radar

Lockdown measures in the UK have caused a reduction in mobile data consumption that has left customers with a combined 165 million GB in unused allowances, according to research from uSwitch.

The coronavirus pandemic has elevated the importance of mobile and broadband services in society, with people relying on connectivity for work, communications and entertainment.

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Digital Identity Charges Onward Amid the Pandemic: Top Stories Roundup

Mobile ID World

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic grinding much of the global economy to a halt, it has been a busy week in the world of digital identity. Indeed, in some cases, the pandemic might even be accelerating activity in this space, as some of this week’s top stories from Mobile ID World suggests.

One of the most popular articles among Mobile ID World readers this week concerned a new Mastercard survey that found that the COVID-19 was helping to drive further adoption of contactless payment technology:

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Mobile games to see the least negative impact from COVID-19

Games industry biz

As the games industry begins to see the financial impacts — for better or worse — of COVID-19, the ways in which the pandemic affects the different segments of the industry are coming to light.

According to Newzoo’s latest 2020 Global Games Market update, the industry will reach revenues of $159 billion — up 9% year-over-year — in 2020, largely driven by both next-gen consoles and the effects of COVID-19.

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Is it time to believe the blockchain hype?


Finextra Research has collaborated with Deloitte’s Richard Walker, HSBC’s Mark Williamson and Ciaron Roddy and BBVA’s Francisco Maroto amongst others and to produce a detailed report on the future of blockchain technology in financial services: Where is the industry now? Where could it go? How do we get there?

Bitcoin has now experienced its third halving event, which sees the reward for adding new transactions to the blockchain reduce from 12.5 coins to 6.25. There are high hopes that this reduction in supply will lead to another cryptocurrency bull market, the last of which famously saw the price of bitcoin mushroom to nearly $20,000 in December 2017.

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