Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Headlines this week include… Google loses appeal over record EU anti-trust Android fine, FCC Launches Probe Into Mobile Privacy Practices, US border forces are seizing Americans’ phone data and storing it for 15 years and much more.
Google loses appeal over record EU anti-trust Android fine
An EU court has largely upheld a record fine against Google for using the Android platform to cement its search engine’s dominance.
The €4.125bn (£3.5bn) penalty is the largest anti-trust fine ever handed down by the European Commission.
It said Google had breached its laws by forcing Android phone-makers to carry its search and web browser apps in order to access the Google Play Store in 2018.
Google has since changed its terms.
FCC Launches Probe Into Mobile Privacy Practices
FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has released responses from the nation’s 15 top mobile carriers to an FCC request for information about their data retention and data privacy policies and practices and directed the agency to launch a new investigation into mobile carriers’ compliance with FCC privacy rules.
“Our mobile phones know a lot about us,” Rosenworcel said in a statement. “That means carriers know who we are, who we call, and where we are at any given moment. This information and geolocation data is really sensitive. It’s a record of where we’ve been and who we are. That’s why the FCC is taking steps to ensure this data is protected” and “I have asked the Enforcement Bureau to launch a new investigation into mobile carriers’ compliance with FCC rules that require carriers to fully disclose to consumers how they are using and sharing geolocation data.”
US border forces are seizing Americans’ phone data and storing it for 15 years
If a traveler’s phone, tablet or computer ever gets searched at an airport, American border authorities could add data from their device to a massive database that can be accessed by thousands of government officials. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) leaders have admitted to lawmakers in a briefing that its officials are adding information to a database from as many as 10,000 devices every year, The Washington Post reports.
Further, 2,700 CBP officers can access the database without a warrant and without having to record the purpose of their search. These details were revealed in a letter Senator Ron Wyden wrote to CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus, where the lawmaker also said that CBP keeps any information it takes from people’s devices for 15 years.
EU Aims To Boost Security Of Connected Devices With New Cyber Resilience Act
The European Commission has presented its proposals for a new Cyber Resilience Act aimed at improving the security of internet-connected devices.
The act would make manufacturers responsible for the security of their products throughout their lifecycle.
“Just as we can trust a toy or a fridge with a CE marking, the Cyber Resilience Act will ensure the connected objects and software we buy comply with strong cybersecurity safeguards,” says Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age.
What is mobile gaming and why does it matter?
Mobile gaming is not just fun, but big business worth billions of dollars and is in many ways the cornerstone of the metaverse. Gaming companies like Fortnite developer Epic Games have already started create virtual worlds of their own to compete with the ones developed by Facebook-owner Meta. However, that doesn’t explain what mobile gaming is or what the opportunities are. Don’t worry, though, we’ve got you covered.
Mobile gaming refers to playing video games on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The most important aspects of this sector are the processors and displays, connectivity via telecom networks and cloud services and LiveOps.
Mobile advertising is evolving for the better thanks to high standards for brands
In light of wider privacy concerns, in-app mobile has emerged as a major, scalable opportunity due to sophisticated measurement, a brand-safe environment, and the ability to demonstrate strong ROI.
Mobile advertising is experiencing its era of growth and possibility. In fact, the US mobile ad market will reach $169bn in 2022, accounting for 68% of total digital ad spend, according to eMarketer. What’s more, programmatic digital display ad spending on mobile far exceeds that on desktop in the US, with the former reaching $98bn in 2022 compared to just $17bn for desktop.
How Mobile Phones are Catalyzing an African Revolution
Prior to the start of mobile roll-out, investment in Africa had been focused on the extraction and export of natural resources. Telecommunications was a key part of the shift to a different kind of investment that had wider economic impacts.
The sector became the largest generator of foreign direct investment after the oil and gas industry (see Chapter 1) and was often a significant contributor to country gross domestic product (GDP). Even countries that would have previously frightened off international investors benefited:
Mobile Data, SMS traffic up as voice traffic declines
The National Communication Authority’s (NCA) Quarterly Statistical Bulletin on Communication in Ghana indicates that while mobile data and SMS traffics increased year-on-year between quarter one of 2021 and quarter one 2022, voice traffic rather dropped significantly over the same period.
Per the report, data traffic saw a very significant increase of 48.09%, from 205.38 billion megabytes at the end of Q1 2021 to 304.15 billion megabytes at the end of Q1 2022; and for the same period, SMS traffic also increased from 487.73 million to 630.73 million, representing 29.32% growth.
Eight Precautions Companies Can Take To Safeguard Their Mobile Apps Against Cyberattacks
Releasing a mobile app is often an exciting next step in many entrepreneurs’ journeys after their websites are up and running successfully. However, in the excitement of building and launching their mobile app, it can be easy for an entrepreneur to forget one of the most fundamental aspects of creating this technology: protecting it. With cases of cybercrimes only predicted to rise in the coming years, not making cybersecurity a priority puts your app—and those who use it—at risk for data theft, lost money, fraud and much more.