The Mobile Minute: Google's Mobile Approach, Mobile Privacy Concerns, and an ICT4D Meetup

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Apr 29, 2011

In today's Mobile Minute, we look at CGAP's coverage on branchless banking and micro-insurance, report on Nielsen and mobile privacy concerns, look at how the New York Times investigates Google's mobile approach and how smartphones are collecting data about cell towers and Wi-Fi hot spots. Lastly, a meetup for those interested in mHealth and ICT4D.

  • Interested in how branchless banking and micro-insurance can work together? GCAP has a roundup of three different organizations (from Ghana, the Philippines, and Kenya) that have paired mobile banking and micro-insurance in order to reach the unbanked and uninsured.

  • In the wake of the news that iPhones are passively recording location data from users, the latest Nielsen survey is especially apt. Among users who downloaded a smartphone application within the 30 days prior to the survey, 52% of male respondants said they were concerned about mobile security, while 59% of female respondents were concerned. The survey also found that as the age of the user increased, so did his/her level of concern about privacy, with users 55+ reporting the highest levels of concern about mobile security, at 63%.

  • Although Google is often the go-to search engine on the web, in the early days of smartphones it was unclear if Google could translate their computer-based search engine dominance onto mobile devices. The New York Times looks at how Google's mobile web searches have grown (giving the company a 97% market share of mobile searches), and looks at how the company plans to continue to expand in the mobile device field.

  • Unsure how and why smartphones use location tracking tools? In order to collect data about the location of cell towers and Wi-Fi hot spots, companies like Google and Apple extract location data from sensors in users' phones. The data is used to create more accurate maps and navigation services, and to provide users with location-specific information. However, as new information about the depth of information collected from and stored on phones is released, Congress has moved to investigate mobile privacy concerns.

  • On Tuesday, May 10 the United Nations Foundation is hosting "Trends and Challenges in mHealth Data Collection." If you're interested in ICT4D and mHealth, this moderated discussion with a panel of experts is accepting RSVPs now.

  • [Mobile Minute Disclaimer: The Mobile Minute is a quick round-up of interesting stories that have come across our RSS and Twitter feeds to keep you informed of the rapid pace of innovation. Read them and enjoy them, but know that we have not deeply investigated these news items. For more in-depth information about the ever-growing field of mobile tech for social change, check out our blog posts, white papers and research, how-tos, and case studies.]

    Image courtesy Flickr user QiFei

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