Sat Phone Insecurity, Sneaky Apps, and SMS Campaigns: News Mashup!

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Mar 20, 2012

The MobileActive News Round Up is a collection of news stories and trends that are shaking up the mobile industry. If you'd like to get this content earlier and delivered right to your inbox, sign up for the MobileActive Newsletter.

Click through to read about reaching multi-lingual audiences with an SMS campaign, new research on the efficacy of mobile tools for health work, SIM card registration requirements in Ghana, and much, much more.

Mobile Trends

  • Does branchless banking reach the poor and the unbanked? CGAP investigates new evidence on how mobile banking is being used by poor individuals.
  • A study from Kenya looks at how citizens currently interact with the government, and how mobile tools could affect service delivery and government participation.
  • If you're sending an SMS campaign to a multi-lingual audience, you need to know about accents and accented characters. Sending a text with accents or different characters means you may have to adjust the length of your message, so choose carefully.
  • If you read a right-to-left language, Twitter is now much more accessible. Thanks to help from 13,000 volunteers, Twitter is now available in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, and Urdu.
  • What's going on with the African tech scene? Check out this collection of the top ten African tech tweeters.
  • A new infographic breaks down the ways people are using mobile devices for health, government participation, and financial services.
  • Mobile phones allow farmers to check market prices and get the latest information to sell their goods at a fair price. This photo story looks at how cashew farmers in Cote d'Ivoire are using mobile technology to stay connected.
  • If you think mobile Internet is growing, you're right – global Internet usage on mobile devices has almost doubled from 2011 to 2012.
  • Gallup has released a report on mobile and social media trends and telecommunication techniques drawn from surveys in 44 countries.
  • Which country has the most mobile phone users? Saudi Arabia has 180 phones for every 100 residents, making it the per-capita winner for mobile connectivity.

SaferMobile: Better Mobile Security and Privacy

  • SaferMobile, a project of MobileActive, helps activists, human rights defenders, and journalists understand the security risks of mobile technology and use mobile tech more securely in their work. Below are security and privacy-related news stories that highlight some of the threats in the current mobile environment.
  • After the deaths of journalists in Syria in late February, reports surfaced that the Syrian government was tracking journalists through satellite phone activity. SaferMobile has a breakdown on why satellite phones aren’t secure.
  • In other government surveillance news, Mexico’s legislative branch has adopted new legislation that will grant the police warrantless access to mobile phone users’ location data in real time.
  • Want to have a phone in Ghana? You’d better register your SIM Card soon – the government deadline for mandatory SIM Card registration was just pushed back by a month. If you don’t register, your phone will be cut off. We write about the global trend.
  • A US Senator is pushing for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the latest smartphone application privacy breaches after news broke that some Apple and Android applications are allowed to copy private photos and address books.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls for a privacy bill of rights for wireless users in the hopes of raising public awareness about mobile application privacy issues.

Recent Research: Mobile Tech in the Field

  • The mDirectory has lots of new research on how mobile technology is being used for development around the world. Here are a few:
  • Do mHealth tools really work? A new study is in the process of running a qualitative test on how mobile tools affect community health workers.
  • March 8th was International Women’s Day, and to mark the occasion the GSMA mWomen Programme released “Striving and Surviving – Exploring the Lives of Women at the Base of the Pyramid." The report offers an in-depth look at how women living on less than $2 per day view mobile technology.
  • For more on women and mobile technology, new research from India looks at how mobile phones, computers, and the Internet can foster entrepreneurship among women.
  • Can mobile technology influence participation and action? A collection of case studies analyzes the role of mobile technology in democratic participation, responsive institutions, poverty reduction, and environmental action.
  • Mobile health and mobile money initiatives present a new opportunity for micro-insurance and payment plans. "Advancing the Dialogue On Mobile Finance and Mobile Health" looks at potential business models for bridging the gap between the two fields.

Find a Job

  • A new effort focused on mobile security is looking for a number of ethical hackers. The organization is currently hiring for a Tech Researcher for a mobile security lab, and a Mobile Application Developer for open source/security applications. Based in either New York City or Washington, D.C., no deadline listed.
  • Pathfinder International is currently seeking a Senior Project Manager to expand and institutionalize their mHealth programs. The hire will initiate, implement and evaluate a mHealth capacity-building project in Nigeria that will utilize mobile technology as a tool for improving access to reproduction health information and services.
  • There is a position open for an evaluator of mobile apps at the VA's National Center for PTSD. The deadline for applications is March 23rd, and they are looking for someone with a strong track record of research on mobile apps or other technologies for mental health.
  • The Carter Center is looking for a short-term hire with functional French proficiency to work on a series of trips to the DRC, mostly involving training and building technical capacity with partner CSOs for Carter Center programs. Please apply ASAP as they are looking to fill the position quickly.
  • Internews is seeking a Media and Crowdsourcing Project Manager to implement an exciting new journalism and crowd sourcing program in Niger. They are looking for someone with both traditional and social media journalism skills to help with the project.

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