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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Stories this week include… 80% of popular mobile apps collect data on your messages, Australia unveils privacy rule changes after Optus data breach, What is a satellite-connected smartphone  and much more.

Australia unveils privacy rule changes after Optus data breach


Australia on Thursday proposed an overhaul of consumer privacy rules that will help facilitate targeted data sharing between telecommunication firms and banks following a massive data breach at Optus, the country’s second largest mobile operator.

Last month’s cyber attack on Optus, owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) (STEL.SI), was one of Australia’s biggest data breaches, and compromised data of up to 10 million customers including home addresses, drivers’ licenses and passport numbers.

The changes will enable telcos to share government-issued identification documents with banks to allow them to implement enhanced monitoring for customers impacted by data breaches.

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Report: 80% of popular mobile apps collect data on your messages


A new study by TechShielder called Hacker Hotspots: The Apps Most Vulnerable to Cybercrime researched how much personal information popular apps collect. According to the study, 60% of the world’s most used mobile apps store information from users’ private conversations, with 80% collecting data on messages you send or receive, and all the apps accumulate basic user information such as phone numbers and email addresses.

The research also found that nearly all apps store sensitive information that users may be unaware of, such as their cookies. Cookies are small files that store users’ data such as login details, which can be helpful when logging into your account if you forget your password, but they also keep a record of a user’s online habits. This means apps could have a worryingly in-depth insight into an individual’s online life and what they do on their device.

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Mobile messaging and payments wanted by travellers


Clickatell, a US-based communications platform as a service (CPaaS) company, has published the report uncovering how consumers of today want to communicate with travel companies entitled ‘Chat Commerce Trends Report: Travel Edition’. The company surveyed over 1,000 participants in the US and asked them how they like to talk and make purchases with hotels, airlines, and rental car companies.

It found that mobile messaging was the most sought-after method of communication, with 87 per cent of consumers having this preference. This was the case among Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X, showing that younger generations want to use their mobile phones to communicate with brands. The research found that 92 per cent of those surveyed would like to use mobile messaging to interact with hotels, 89 per cent to interact with airlines, and 85 per cent to interact with rental car companies.

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What is a satellite-connected smartphone – and how can it help bridge the digital divide?

European Sting

It’s a familiar and frustrating feeling: you need to make an urgent call or get online, but your smartphone has no bars.

For some of us, connecting via satellite could soon be the answer.

Phone companies are racing to bring us products that will let us use a satellite connection when we’re out of reach of Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

Only an estimated 15% of the world’s surface is covered by cellular networks, according to satellite communications company Iridium.

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Mobile Banking Apps Need Personalized Experiences to Hold Consumers

The Financial Brand

Tailoring mobile banking apps means not only customizing what consumers see on their screens but also how the software underneath it all adapts to what users need and the financial tasks they are performing. A surprise in new research is that mobile web usage, once written off, remains important and is getting renewed emphasis from major banks.

Mobile banking apps continue to grow broader and deeper, fulfilling more and more of consumers’ financial needs and convincing a growing number of them that most of the time all they will need is their app. However, the more comprehensive the apps become, the more consumers need a way to get their arms around this digital relationship.

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How Will U.S.-China Tech Decoupling Affect Africa’s Mobile Phone Market?

Carnegie Endowment

The African continent’s growing population is increasingly connecting to the internet. Between 2019 and 2021, internet use in Africa grew by 23 percent. Still, only about 33 percent of the population are active internet users, leaving an estimated 900 million people without the web’s digital dividends. While several factors contribute to Africa’s digital divide, the prospect of a U.S.-China technology decoupling could create additional complexities that may affect the digital transformation of African countries, as the world’s two leading economies contemplate unwinding or reshoring at least some tech-related supply chains.

The tensions between the United States and China over digital technologies are growing with wide-ranging implications for Africa’s digital economy on issues from infrastructure and platforms to hardware devices. Like other regions of the world, the continent must contend with the ramifications of great power competition for its digital agenda. African nations, however, must navigate the prospects of such decoupling alongside China’s substantive investments and dominance in telecommunications infrastructure.

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Mobile payments service Paym to shutter in 2023


Mobile payments service Paym is to permanently shutter in 2023 due to changing consumer preferences in payments.

Citing the “rapid evolution” of payments technology which has seen consumers move to newer forms of mobile payment and faster payments through online banking, Pay.UK says Paym will close permanently on 7 March 2023.

“These changes in consumer preferences build on the foundation created by Paym,” the organisation says, which acts as the operator and standards body for the UK’s retail interbank payment systems.

Pay.UK and 15 UK banks and building societies made the decision to wind down the service after declining payment volumes and fewer signups over the past three years.

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Cloudflare shows flair with new products for mobile and IoT security

Tech Republic

Having a safe and secure internet has been a major concern for enterprises due to the growing number of successful cyberattacks on organizations worldwide.

Among the companies who have taken an interest in profiting from the art of protection is American firm Cloudflare. As a cloud security service and content delivery network provider, Cloudflare has been operating with a focus on building a better internet and offering internet users secure access to millions of websites globally.

It already has a number of notable customers, such as Mars, L’Oreal, IBM, Shopify and NCR. The stats also show that Cloudflare is doing well. According to its site, it provides 36 million HTTP requests per second on average and offers data from 275 cities in over 100 countries.

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CD Projekt Red aims to expand on mobile games


The game industry is expected to continue to grow in the upcoming years and reach new highs regularly. Anyone remotely interested in the market knows mobile games are the driving force, and a recent report from Global Data even argues mobile games will generate over half of the revenue the industry accumulates by 2030. CD Projekt Red already exists in the mobile gaming space but wants to further invest in it by licensing out its non-core products.

Not all major video game players are moving into the mobile gaming space, but most known studios do and finding success there. Some, like Sony, are a bit late to the game, but even the console maker is investing in mobile games and recently acquired mobile game developer Savage Game Studios.

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Methods for Monetising a Mobile Game


Creating a great game may be the first step in having a successful title, but in today’s booming market simply having a well-made game may not be enough. Choosing the right way to monetise can make all the difference when ensuring financial success. In this guest post,vice president at Adjust (EMEA regions) Alexandre Pham discusses the different avenues for monetising a game.

Mobile game consumer spending is growing. In 2021 consumers spent £14 billion more on mobile games than in 2020, reaching nearly £100 billion in total. This is even more impressive given that 2020 was already considered an explosive year for mobile games as people in pandemic-related lockdowns turned to mobile games for distraction.

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