Web Roundup: Privacy, Internet Speeds and Room for Innovation in the Digital Music Industry
Privacy concerns and lawsuits have yet to put a damper on innovation and development in the mobile industry.
When it comes to mobile providers, one thing is for sure: Privacy is one-sided. Customers have limited privacy (more limited than most realize), but service providers are pretty good about keeping their own business under wraps. In spite of consumers' increasing awareness about the general lack of privacy, the market continues to grow. And a bigger market means bigger problems. Check out some of the top stories around mobile security we found this week.
One of the Largest Mobile Phone Groups Isn’t SecureVodafone revealed that British government agencies are listening in on customers' conversations. That's pretty frightening considering people in 29 countries use Vodafone to communicate. Not only can government agencies listen in and record calls, but they can also track where each customer is located. Although some countries, such as Turkey and Qatar, cannot disclose any aspect of what’s being done to intercept calls, the data from the countries that can disclose that information is disturbing. Many Americans believe that it’s only a matter of time before other mobile phone providers disclose how much the government is tapping into their phones.
One Mobile Service Providers Is Fighting Back Against Full DisclosureAs the world grows angrier about its diminishing privacy, one mobile phone service provider is taking legal action against another company for using its name. Verizon recently sent a cease and desist letter to Netflix demanding that the company remove its name from slow delivery notices. Verizon is also asking for a list of the customers who saw the message, which blamed Verizon's slow service for an inability to download Netflix materials. Netflix says it's only trying to provide transparency about the Internet service providers that make streaming Netflix possible. Verizon's calling the move a PR stunt. Expect to hear more as these two companies battle it out.
Could Big Name Internet Service Providers Be Slowing Down the Internet?One Harvard University researcher, Susan Crawford, thinks that could be a possibility. In her recent report, she wrote that many fiber networks already exist in major cities across the United States, but they are not in use due to agreements between the government and private ISPs. One example of this dates back to 1999, when Comcast and Washington, D.C., made a deal in which the local government agreed not to sell or lease the fiber network in place, or use it to engage in any other types of activity that could cause Comcast to lose business. Unfortunately, that's made tapping into this (and other similar) fiber networks for faster Internet much more difficult. It also makes Internet service more expensive for consumers. That is, unless Google decides to make a run for a bigger piece of the pie.
How the West Died and the East Won Mobile GrowthThe data is in, and if you want to harness the growth of the smartphone market, you need to head East. According to Ericsson, the North American and European markets have hit their peak when it comes to mobile devices. Now, growth lies in the East. Emerging markets are expected to account for 90 percent of the growth over the next five years. If your business wants a piece of this pie, now you know where to go to get it.
If Privacy Is Important to You in Your Dating Life…You’ll love the latest announcement from Tinder, a mobile application for people seeking people. To compete with Snapchat’s photo-disappearing act, Tinder just announced a new feature that will remove images within 24 hours. According to Tinder, the goal is to help users get to know each other better, but others think that this move also puts the mobile dating app in a much better competitive position, and may help it take on big time social media networks, including Facebook.
Beats and Apple: A Potential Match Made in Heaven?Unless you’re hiding under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly caught a whiff of the buzz surrounding Apple's acquisition of Beats. With a new television commercial that breaks free from Apple’s traditional mold to bring cultures from around the world together, many eyes are on this tech giant to see what will follow its latest move. Although music giants Pandora and Spotify do not appear to be too concerned with the acquisition, some think this merger could mean a new wave of innovation in the mobile industry.