Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. This week.. Facebook to pay $650M in privacy settlement, Twitter isn’t worried about Apple’s big privacy change , When is 5G expected to play a big role in IoT? And much more…

Facebook to pay $650M in privacy settlement

Mobile World Live

Nearly 1.6 million Facebook users in the US state of Illinois are to receive a payment from the tech giant, after a judge approved a $650 million offer from the company to settle a class action lawsuit claiming it violated user privacy rights.

In a ruling, the judge stated the sum was “one the largest settlements ever for a privacy violation” and would “put at least $345 into the hands” of every class action participant, “a major win for consumers in the hotly contested area of digital privacy”.

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Twitter isn’t worried about Apple’s big privacy change, says it’ll level the playing field

CNBC

Twitter CFO Ned Segal on Wednesday said the social media company is feeling confident as it prepares for Apple’s planned privacy update to iOS 14, which will make it easier for iPhone and iPad users to block companies from tracking their activity to target ads.

“We look at the unique signal that Twitter has with a growing audience, with better formats and more relevance and the ability to better leverage that signal, much of which isn’t tied to a device ID,” Segal said, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. “We feel really good about our ability to leverage that combination.”

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T-Mobile is a consumer favorite. Now it’s trying to break into the business world

CNN

T-Mobile has been popular with consumers, but an underdog when it comes to serving businesses. The “Uncarrier” wants to change that with the rollout of 5G.

The company announced Thursday a series of of new offerings for business customers: corporate wireless plans with unlimited data and 5G access, cloud-based workplace communication tools and a “Home Office Internet” program.

The new services aim to take advantage of not only T-Mobile’s 5G network, but also the mass shift to working from home during the pandemic. 5G is the next generation wireless network technology that boasts faster speeds and higher bandwidth compared to existing 4G LTE networks.

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When is 5G expected to play a big role in IoT?

Telecom TV

Cellular or mobile IoT has always been hard to pin down. From its earliest days (about ten years ago in its current form), it’s been leading analysts astray and some of the early growth calculations were, with hindsight, a tad on the exuberant side.

Today it’s interesting to note the differences in projections between a vendor, in this case Ericsson, and an analyst firm, Strategy Analytics, when it comes to the crucial growth figures for the various mobile technology generations.

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Mobile Banking Apps Failing in Key Areas of CX

Financial Brand

Even as some financial institutions begin issuing continuous improvements to their apps, others are falling short on square-one basics like simple screen readability. While banks and credit unions must keep all generations happy, close attention to the needs of Gen Z and Millennials represents a definite investment in the future — and the present.

When “one-click” ordering can buy you almost anything that Amazon sells, having to click incessantly to conduct a transaction in a banking app can quickly become a boring and painful experience.

Research by PYMNTS.com and Entersekt found that while mobile banking app usage has rocketed by 200% since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and about half of the country uses these apps now, more than a third of consumers surveyed are not happy with their experiences with banking apps.

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THE ANNOYANCE ENGINE: Spam robocalls became profitable scams by exploiting the phone system, but you can stop them

Insider

Nearly every day for the past year, I have been breathlessly informed that the warranty on my vehicle is out of date. The situation is dire: it’s the middle of a pandemic, and if the warranty on my vehicle gives out, I could be out a serious chunk of money.

The problem is that I do not have a warranty on my automobile. I do not own an automobile. I have never owned an automobile. I last drove one my parents owned in high school. But unrelentingly, a woman calls me in the midafternoon to offer me a way out of my warranty problem.

Why? Because spam calls are out of control. Billions of robocalls hit American cell phones every month.

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Are in-app purchases ruining mobile video games?

BBC

We know more people are playing video games in the pandemic. Not all of those will be sitting down to play on their consoles or PCs.

Recent research suggests that one in two people with a smartphone will have played a game on their phone in the last week. How many of those games make money however has been a consistent talking point within the gaming industry for years. The techniques some developers use to hook and retain players, however, are controversial.

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People have spent more than $230 million buying and trading digital collectibles of NBA highlights

CNBC

A LeBron James highlight sold for $200,000. A Zion Williamson edition went for a little less than that. The National Basketball Association has officially aligned itself for the future of the trading card marketplace, and currently, this game is sold out.

The NBA partnered with Canadian-based Dapper Labs, makers of the CryptoKitties game, to make its version of a collectible digital asset. NBA Top Shot is a crypto-collectible consumers can purchase as a non-fungible token (NFT). Each collectible is tied to a blockchain — a digital ledger similar to the blockchains used for digital currencies like bitcoin. This effectively gives each NFT a unique and non-hackable certificate of authenticity. So even if somebody makes a perfect copy of the highlight video, it will instantly be recognizable as a fake.

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How mobile network operators can drive the next wave of financial inclusion in MENA

Gulf Business

The way that we pay for goods and services has rapidly changed to a digital model, bringing convenience and security to consumers. Across the region, the use of contactless payments and e-commerce has grown, indicating an acceptance of digital payments, and a user base that is ready for more innovation and new payment services.

But not everyone has been able to participate in this payment revolution. According to The World Bank, in 2017 there were 1.7 billion unbanked adults worldwide without access to bank accounts or banking services.

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Facebook AI learned object recognition from 1 billion Instagram pics

New Scientist

Artificial intelligence built by Facebook has learned to classify images from 1 billion Instagram photos. The AI used a different learning technique to many other similar algorithms, relying less on input from humans. The team behind it says the AI learns in a more common sense way.

Conventionally, computer vision systems are trained to identify specific things, such as a cat or a dog. They achieve this by learning from a large collection of images that have been annotated to describe what is in them. After doing this enough, the AI can then identify the same things in new images, for example, spotting a dog in an image it has never seen before.

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