CDC may use mobile ad location data to track stay-at-home order compliance

Mobile ad location data - people on smartphones

US government officials may use this technology to monitor the spread of COVID-19. US government officials are using mobile ad location data provided by the smartphone advertising industry to track the movements of Americans during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. The data is not coming from the carriers themselves but is from mobile marketers instead. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as state and local governments have obtained mobile ad location data about people in regions of “geographic interest,” reported the Wall Street Journal. The purpose…

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5G smartphones comprised under 1 percent of American mobile phone buys last year

5G smartphones - Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

Though the sale of these devices is on the rise, they made only a sliver of the total 2019 purchases. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that 5G smartphones are selling at an increasing rate. When it comes to purchasing a device that will align with the direction of technology’s evolution, these are the obvious choice, according to the most recent NPD Mobile Phone Tracking data. Even with that being the fact, they still made up under 1 percent of the total US sales for 2019. Despite the…

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QR code pet tags may help lost pets find their way home again

QR code pet tag - dog with collar looking out window

Easily scannable quick response codes could help owners to make sure their pets come home. QR code pet tags aren’t something completely new. A number of brands have been dabbling with the technology over the last several years. Now, as people start to recognize the barcodes and their phone camera apps have built-in scanners, the option holds considerably more promise. The idea is quite simple, requiring a customized quick response code to be printed onto the animal’s ID. If an animal – a cat or a dog for instance –…

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Pre-installed malware discovered on US government-funded phones

Pre-installed malware - Security protection for mobile phones

The UMX U686CL is a low-cost mobile phone with unwanted and un-removable surprises. One of the low-cost smartphones available through the U.S. government’s “Lifeline Assistance” service comes with pre-installed malware built right in. The phones are provided to users of the FCC-operated program when they can’t otherwise afford them. The Lifeline Assistance program helps low-income households offering, among other things, smartphones at a lower cost for individuals who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford these devices at full price. The program is meant to be helpful for these families, providing…

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California launches QR code verification for legal cannabis dispensaries

QR Code Verification - Cannabis dispensary

The new quick response code scans with smartphones let consumers check whether a shop is legit. Marijuana users from California can now use their smartphones for QR code verification of a dispensary’s license. The Bureau of Cannabis Control launched a new program making it easier to spot licensed shops. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control rolled out a new QR code verification program at the end of last year. It made it possible for licensed cannabis dispensaries to display quick response codes in their shop windows. This way, smartphone users…

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