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

This week.. Facebook is pushing back on Apple’s new privacy rules, Chinese phones with built-in malware sold in Africa, India’s coronavirus apps raise privacy fears and  more.

Facebook is pushing back on Apple’s new privacy rules


Facebook is pushing back on new Apple privacy rules for its mobile devices – and putting app developers in the middle.

Apple will soon require apps to ask users for permission to collect data on what devices they are using and to let ads follow them around on the internet. The social network said on Wednesday that those rules could reduce what apps can earn by advertising through Facebook’s audience network.

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Chinese phones with built-in malware sold in Africa


Malware which signed users up to subscription services without their permission has been found on thousands of mobiles sold in Africa. Anti-fraud firm Upstream found the malicious code on 53,000 Tecno handsets, sold in Ethiopia, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana and South Africa. Manufacturer Transsion told Buzzfeed it was installed in the supply chain without its knowledge.

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‘Black holes’: India’s coronavirus apps raise privacy fears


Harinder Kaur was not surprised when people slammed their doors in her face as she walked into neighbourhoods in the northern state of Punjab armed with a smartphone and a long list of health and travel-related questions.

The 28-year-old health worker had been told to go door-to-door in villages in Patiala district and help populate the state’s COVID-19 tracing app with “thousands of details” people were unwilling to share, from their digestive health to their mobile numbers.

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Samsung integrates Korea telco national blockchain identity

Ledger Insights

Yesterday it was announced that SK Telecom integrated its blockchain mobile identity solution Pass with the Samsung Blockchain Keystore, a feature of Samsung mobile phones.

South Korea’s big three mobile operators are part of the Initial DID self-sovereign identity alliance. At the end of June, the three telecoms firms, SK Telecom, KT and LG U+, launched a mobile blockchain identity app, “Pass”, based on driver’s licenses. By August 9th, the National Police Agency and Road Traffic Authority said there were more than a million subscribers.

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The state of GDPR compliance in the mobile app space

Help Net Security

Among the rights bestowed upon EU citizens by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the right to access their personal data stored by companies (i.e., data controllers) and information about how this personal data is being processed. A group of academics from three German universities has decided to investigate whether and how mobile app vendors respond to subject access requests, and the results of their four-year undercover field study are dispiriting.

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Many corporates are still wary of mobile wallet solutions


The Worldpay from FIS 2020 Global Payments Report has predicted that digital wallets could account for more than half of global e-commerce sales by 2023. However, it also highlights a number of regional discrepancies. In the US, for example, mobile wallets are set to surpass credit cards as the preferred online payment method by 2021, whereas Canadians are moving towards greater use of bank transfers. Digital wallets now surpass cash at the point of sale in Asia Pacific, but cash remains dominant in Latin America.

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Mobile data speeds back to pre-lockdown levels

Times Of India

CHENNAI: The frequent lag in streaming movies on your phone soon after the pandemic struck is probably a thing of the past. Mobile data download speeds, which fell almost by 21% (national average) compared to pre-Covid levels in the first week of April (soon after the lockdown commenced), got back to the earlier levels in mid-July, and are also up marginally in August. However, the overall download experience during the lockdown has differed across locations. The dip in speeds was more pronounced in tier-2 and -3 cities, where telecom operators do not have sufficient network infrastructure, as many people returned home from larger cities.

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Epic gambles on its mobile gaming revenue in legal battle with Apple – analysts

S&P Global

As Epic Games Inc.’s legal battle with Apple Inc. intensifies, industry observers said the gaming company risks permanently losing market share to rivals if the case drags on.

Epic’s case against Apple could hinge on how the company is able to define the mobile app market, according to one legal expert. The lawsuit comes amid a congressional inquiry regarding antitrust concerns and big tech that is expected to result in a report with recommendations for U.S. legislators in the coming weeks.

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‘Contextual targeting is going to be the new black’: As IDFA restrictions loom, advertisers brace for the fallout


In a little under a month, Apple’s restrictions on in-app tracking will kick in, and for anxious mobile advertisers, the stakes are high. That’s not because there won’t be any workarounds come mid-September when the availability of Apple’s Identifier for Advertising starts to recede. It will still be possible to combine certain attributes of a device — like what operating system it is on—- to identify it as a unique device.

But once apps have to explicitly ask a user to let them be tracked, those environments are no longer a sanctum for personalized ads.

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