We take a weekly look at mobile tech stories from around the world. Headlines include… Period trackers to be reviewed over data concerns, CFPB boss urges oversight of Apple, Google mobile payments, The future of mobile gaming: thinking outside the app and more…
BBC news reports on concerns over sensitive personal data being collected by popular period and fertility apps. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said there is evidence that users are worried about the security of the data these apps collect and how transparent the app makers are being about their data usage.
The apps claim to help with a rage of period related health issues, but the regulator says a survey it commissioned showed some 59% of respondents had concerns over data transparency, while 57% worry about the security of the information they had shared. Over half suggested they became subject to an increase in baby-related adverts or marketing when using the app, with 17% of respondents finding this distressing.
Emily Keaney, deputy commissioner of regulatory policy at the ICO, said “As with all health apps, we would expect organisations to safeguard their users’ privacy and have transparent policies in place,” “This review is intended to establish both the good and bad of how the apps are working currently.”
Rohit Chopra, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has said that the contactless payment functions on Apple and Google smartphones need to be regulated to protect consumer choice.
“There is real concern that the largest technology firms will be able to erect even more gates and toll booths that will prevent the smallest firms from emerging, raising capital, growing and succeeding, even when they offer superior technology,” Chopra said during Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s fintech conference. “And I think that’s going to require us to look at how to regulate it, and really how to think about these private regulations imposed by gatekeepers.”
Jobie Tan, Global Head of Business Development, Gaming at InMobi writes in Mobile Marketing Magazine that consumer behaviour has changed regarding mobile gaming, and the industry needs to follow suit to attract gamers.
“Millennial and Gen-Z consumers have changed the rules of engagement when it comes to interacting with mobile games – they often want to “try before they buy”, or rather “play first, download later”. They want to know they’ll enjoy the experience before committing to downloading the game.”
Ars Technica discusses the rollout of Google Chromes new ad platform the “privacy sandbox” which it claims is baked into the new browser update and will track web page usage to build a list of advertising topics to serve to the user.
It argues this is in response to Apple’s move to block third-party cookies in Safari in 2020 . Chrome has some controls built in to allow users to control their ad privacy and says the browser-based advertising platform is “a significant step on the path towards a fundamentally more private web.”
Meta has announced it will be discontinuing their dedicated news tab on Facebook in the UK, Germany and France to move towards services and features which generate more revenue.
Meta cites low demand for the services sayinng “less than 3%” of what people see inn their feed is news.
“We know that people don’t come to Facebook for news and political content, they come to connect with people and discover new opportunities, passions and interests.”
On IoT for all – Itamar Kunik – CEO & Co-Founder, Monogotov shares a lengthy essay on how the world of IoT is evolving :
“Because of the software component of the way they are connected, they are able to prioritize the user experience and cyber posture, allowing them to truly enrich the way we work, the way we travel, the way we consume, and the way we live.”