Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. This week.. WhatsApp to re-introduce controversial new privacy policy, Huawei turns to pig farming as smartphone sales fall, post-IDFA Alliance to address concerns of mobile app and game marketers and much more…

WhatsApp will re-introduce controversial new privacy policy

Engadget

WhatsApp plans to re-introduce the updated privacy policy that ignited a massive backlash against the Facebook-owned messaging app. The company said it will notify users of the new privacy policy “in the coming weeks,” and provide more information about the changes before requiring users to agree to the new terms.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll display a banner in WhatsApp providing more information that people can read at their own pace,” WhatsApp writes in a blog post. “We’ve also included more information to try and address concerns we’re hearing. Eventually, we’ll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp.”

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Huawei turns to pig farming as smartphone sales fall

BBC

Huawei is turning to technology for pig farmers as it deals with tough sanctions on its smartphones.
The Chinese telecoms giant was stopped from accessing vital components after the Trump administration labelled it a threat to US national security. In response to struggling smartphone sales, Huawei is looking at other sources of revenue for its technology.
Along with Artificial Intelligence (AI) tech for pig farmers, Huawei is also working with the coal mining industry.

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Post-IDFA Alliance will address concerns of mobile app and game marketers

Venturebeat

Apple’s decision to emphasize user privacy over targeted advertising has the advertising and mobile game industries worried. So much so that the adtech companies have formed a new alliance to help address the concerns of mobile marketers and app publishers.

Apple is changing its policy with an upcoming version of its iOS 14 mobile operating system to require users to opt-in if they want to share their data, in the former of the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), with advertisers. And so the marketers and app publishers have formed the Post-IDFA Alliance.

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Mobile operators are looking to incubate their way to 5G success

Verdict

Mobile operator T-Mobile US announced a new “5G Connected Future” incubator program in February that combines technology, academia, “Curiosity,” and seed money, in a bid to foster new revenue-generating 5G applications.

T-Mobile will collaborate with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) on the program, which represents an expansion of T-Mobile’s Accelerator program. T-Mobile reports it has worked with 67 startup companies that have raised over $50 million in funding since participating in the Accelerator program, all focused on building immersive 5G-based applications such as augmented/virtual reality applications, holographic displays, and robotics.

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Google is restructuring its AI teams after Timnit Gebru’s firing

The Verge

Google is reorganizing its responsible AI teams in the wake of Timnit Gebru’s firing. The ethical AI team will now roll up to Marian Croak, a prominent Black executive in the engineering department. Croak will also oversee employees focused on engineering fairness products, according to Bloomberg. She will report to Jeff Dean, who leads the company’s AI efforts.

The ethical AI team was not aware of the reorganization until news broke Wednesday night.

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With over 1.3 million users, Nigerian-based fintech FairMoney wants to replicate growth in India

Tech Crunch

There are more than 1.7 billion underbanked people globally, the majority of which are from emerging markets. For them, accessing loans can be difficult, which is a problem fintechs try to solve. One way they do this is by promoting financial inclusion by underwriting credit via a proprietary algorithm.

One such company is FairMoney, which describes itself as “the mobile banking revolution for emerging markets.” FairMoney, founded by Laurin Hainy, Matthieu Gendreau and Nicolas Berthozat, is a licensed online lender that provides instant loans and bill payments to underserved consumers in emerging markets.

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Mobile ad companies form alliance to prepare for Apple privacy changes

Reuters

Six mobile advertising companies said Wednesday they have formed a partnership to help marketers and app developers adjust to upcoming Apple Inc changes that will affect how advertising works on iPhones.

Apple will soon begin to prompt iPhone users to allow apps to use their data for personalized advertising, a move that has drawn backlash from tech rival Facebook Inc, which argues the changes will hurt the social media company’s ad business.

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Brits turn to mobile data as lockdown increases broadband strain

E&T

People are increasingly switching to mobile data during the lockdown to stay online as their broadband connections are suffering under the additional strain, a new study commissioned by O2 has found.

The research, conducted by YouGov, found that over one-third (36 per cent) of people are regularly switching to mobile data in order to stay online. Young people aged 18 to 34 (61 per cent) and those with children in the household (65 per cent) in particular are using mobile data to stay connected.

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Mobile gaming revenue is under threat from reverse-engineering and other hacks

Venturebeat

Mobile gaming is boom. 2020 app revenue topped $111 billion, 30% more than all of 2019, according to research firm Sensor Tower. It estimates that gaming hit $79.5 billion on mobile, and 43% of that gaming revenue comes from in-app purchases, according to 2020 study from Wappier.

With in-app purchases making up such a large percentage of mobile game revenue, hacks that enable gamers to get free stuff without making in-app purchases are a huge threat. And hacking is simple to do. To illustrate just how easy it is, take a look at this YouTube video, in which a mobile gamer shows how to use an emulator to cheat in the Jurassic World mobile game on Android. In less than 5 minutes, he creates his own patch for the game, which makes in-app purchases free.

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COVID Who? Mobile World Congress Still Scheduled for June in Barcelona

PC Mag

The GSMA still plans to hold a massive, in-person tech trade show in Barcelona this summer, Mobile World Live reported this week. While COVID-19 still runs rampant in Spain, GSMA CEO John Hoffman tells MWL he’s plowing ahead with plans to hold Mobile World Congress 2021 from June 28 to July 1.

Hoffman says that next week’s MWC Shanghai will be a proof point for running a tech trade show in 2021, although the COVID situation in China and the national composition of the Shanghai attendees are radically different from what they will be at MWC in Barcelona.

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