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We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include…  TikTok faces fresh US pressure over child privacy, Apple to settle ‘tap-and-go’ payments probe with EU,  5 crucial insights from mobile leaders on privacy-first advertising and more…

TikTok faces fresh US pressure over child privacy

BBC News

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has escalated a complaint against TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance to the Department of Justice (DOJ) due to potential violations of children’s privacy. The FTC’s investigation has revealed probable legal breaches by the companies.

TikTok expressed disappointment over the referral in a statement to BBC News. This case is distinct from the recent legislation threatening a ban on TikTok in the US unless ByteDance divests its ownership.

The FTC’s probe centered on possible violations of the FTC Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

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Apple to settle ‘tap-and-go’ payments probe with EU

FT

Apple will resolve a prolonged EU antitrust investigation into its mobile payments system by making concessions to allow competitors more access to its contactless technology. The European Commission charged Apple in 2022 with violating competition law by blocking competitors from using its “tap-and-go” chips, or near-field communication (NFC), to favor Apple Pay.

According to sources, regulators have accepted several measures proposed by Apple in January. These include granting developers free access to NFC technology on iOS devices without needing to use Apple Pay or Apple Wallet. These measures will be maintained for a decade as tested by Brussels officials. This agreement allows Apple to avoid a substantial fine.

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5 crucial insights from mobile leaders on privacy-first advertising

The Drum

The phasing out of mobile device ID tracking is aimed at enhancing user data protection, presenting a significant adjustment for app marketers and their advertising partners. This article provides five essential insights from leading industry experts on navigating these changes.

Digital advertising is experiencing a global transformation aimed at reducing third-party data sharing. Brands that depend on this data for their campaigns, along with their advertising partners who use it for targeting, must now rethink their strategies and update their technology to align with the privacy-first era. This shift is especially significant in programmatic mobile advertising, where in-app ad placements are traded through algorithm-driven virtual auctions.

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Swisscom claims ‘pan-Europe’ IoT with satellite extension from EchoStar

RCR Wireless

Swisscom, a Switzerland-based mobile operator, is partnering with French IoT company Actility and Irish satellite IoT firm EchoStar Mobile to extend its LoRaWAN IoT network across Europe. EchoStar Mobile will supply satellite capacity for direct sensor-to-satellite communication, while Actility will enable integration between Swisscom’s terrestrial IoT network and EchoStar Mobile’s satellite network via the ThingPark Exchange roaming hub. This collaboration allows Swisscom to offer enhanced network roaming capabilities, particularly in areas lacking terrestrial LoRaWAN coverage.

Previously, Swisscom’s IoT solutions, including smart metering, environmental monitoring, asset tracking, smart agriculture, and smart building, were solely dependent on terrestrial connectivity. The new satellite integration ensures more extensive coverage for enterprise customers, even in remote and previously uncovered areas.

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New Report: What’s in Gen Z’s Mobile Wallet?

PYMNTS

Consumers are increasingly adopting digital wallets, with over 70% globally now using them. Many use these wallets to store credentials, verify identities, or access events, appreciating their convenience and ease of use. Generation Z, in particular, frequently utilizes digital wallets for storing payment information and IDs, with 10% rarely or never carrying a physical wallet anymore.

These insights come from the report “Digital Wallets Beyond Financial Transactions: A Global Perspective,” a collaboration between PYMNTS Intelligence and Google Wallet. The report, based on a survey of 12,299 consumers from January 11 to February 5, 2024, focuses on consumer perceptions and usage of digital wallets in Brazil, France, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S.

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How mobile phone networks are embracing AI

BBC

Our mobile phones are becoming significantly smarter with the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into their operating systems. Apple recently announced that it will incorporate AI, called Apple Intelligence, into its handsets and the Siri chatbot, enhancing their ease of use and functionality as personal assistants. This move follows similar AI advancements from Samsung with Galaxy AI and Google with Gemini AI for Pixel phones.

However, as phones become more AI-driven, they will perform more computations and generate more data, increasing the strain on mobile phone networks like the UK’s O2, EE, Vodafone, and Three. To help manage this increased strain, telecom firms are also incorporating AI into their networks, says Ian Fogg, director of network innovation at research consultancy CCS Insight.

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Pinterest unveils new AI advertising tools

Mobile Marketing Magazine

Pinterest has introduced several new features for advertisers, focusing on enhancing campaign performance through advanced AI-driven tools. One key addition is ‘Performance+’, an AI-based automated ad campaign system designed to optimize all aspects of Promoted Pin creation, reducing the need for manual input. This system leverages Pinterest’s ad creation and audience-matching capabilities to deliver better results for advertisers. Early testing has shown promising outcomes, with most advertisers experiencing over a 10% improvement in cost per acquisition (CPA) for Conversion and Catalog sales campaigns, and a similar improvement in cost per click (CPC) for Consideration campaigns.

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A Guide to RCS, Why Apple’s Adopting It, and How It Makes Texting Better

Wired

RCS (Rich Communication Services) is set to debut on iPhones with iOS 18 following announcements from WWDC 2024. This messaging standard upgrades traditional SMS/MMS by offering features like read receipts, image support, and enhanced security. While similar to iMessage and WhatsApp in functionality, RCS doesn’t have its own standalone app; instead, it’s supported within compatible messaging apps, marking a significant step forward in messaging capabilities for iOS users. Wired has put together an overview of the standard.

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Signicat Adds 3D Face-scanning to MobileID System

Find Biometrics

Signicat has upgraded its MobileID solution with a new “Face Authentication” feature, incorporating 3D face-scanning capabilities. This enhancement aims to bolster security against advanced fraud techniques by performing both “3D Liveness Check” and “3D Face Matching” during authentication attempts. Previously supporting Touch ID, Face ID on iOS, and fingerprint authentication on Android, Signicat now expands its defense against presentation attacks, including those using 2D photos and sophisticated deepfake videos.

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