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Facebook Faces Lawsuit Over its Messenger App

Three Facebook Messenger app users have launched a lawsuit against the online giant over privacy concerns.

They claim that the social network violated their privacy by compiling phone call logs and their text messages.

The lawsuit follows Facebook’s acknowledgement that it has been accessing text and call logs from Android phones since 2015.

The firm says that only those users who gave permissions have been affected and it did not collect the contents of calls or messages and users can opt of data collection.

Meanwhile, while giving evidence to MPs, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie claimed that Facebook is using user’s mobile phone microphones to listen to their user’s conversations and tailor adverts to their needs when using the firm’s apps.

BBC announces an app to capture children’s audience

The BBC has responded to growing on-demand viewing habits by unveiling an app aimed at children.

The broadcaster says it is currently running the risk of ‘being overtaken by competitors’.

In its latest Annual Plan, it says that 82% of children are going to YouTube to enjoy on-demand content, around 50% head to Netflix and 29% use the BBC iPlayer.

Now, the BBC is launching an app aimed at 6 to 12-year-olds to provide a ‘daily diet of funny, inspiring and fascinating facts’.

The app will also help users build social communities around their passions.

In research, it’s been revealed that children aged between 5 to 15 are spending more time online than they do watching TV; it is 15 hours 18 minutes for online viewing and 14 hours for TV. Also, 43% of those aged between 12 and 15 are using their mobile phone for watching TV.

Mobile phone app only bank moves into business

The award winning Starling Bank is the first UK licensed mobile only bank to unveil a business account for entrepreneurs and small firms.

The app is easy to use and enables small business owners to open their account in under 10 minutes, direct from their mobile phone.

The bank account carries no fees for running the account and there are no fees for making payments or withdrawing cash.

The bank says customers can manage their bank account from their mobile phone and can pay suppliers, including international payments, directly from the app.

In other mobile phone app news …

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been accused of spying on millions of voters using a mobile phone app that was downloaded more than 5 million times. The app apparently sent user’s personal data to third-party websites without permission.

Traders in the Shropshire town of Bridgnorth are using their WhatsApp messaging app to fight against a wave of shoplifting by communicating effectively between businesses warning them of shoplifters.

The TPS Protect app, launched last August, has been updated to help users block unwanted scam and nuisance calls – and now it helps protects against those selling cryptocurrency investments.

App for fed-up parents

One fed-up dad in the UK has unveiled an app that prevents his son from using his mobile phone when ignoring texts.

Nick Herbert has revealed that the app will lock his son’s smartphone when he ignores any text messages.

The 13-year-old was playing games regularly on his smartphone rather than responding to his dad’s communications.

Now, after eight months developing the app, other parents can enjoy the ReplyASAP app to encourage their children to respond to their messages.

The app works by sounding an alarm and blocking the screen with a message which prevents the mobile phone being used until the user responds.

In addition, the parent will be notified that the user has seen their message.

Parking apps are criticised

Motorists who use parking apps on their mobile phones are being fleeced, one website says.

Resolver says that despite the convenience being offered by the apps to pay for parking and find spare car parking spots, they can also offer a range of ‘sneaky extra’ charges.

This means that the overall costs can be increased by up to one third and include paying for text messages.

A spokesman for the site said: “These apps, rather than being helpful, are anti-consumer and with unnecessary charges for services the users do not ask for or need – they are ripping off motorists.”

However, the AA says that despite the growing popularity of parking apps, fewer than 20% of drivers who have them on their phones actually use them.

New app deters speeding

A new app from Toyota Europe will help deter teens from using their phones while driving and also from speeding.

The Safe and Sound needs to be downloaded by the teen driver as well as their parents and then paired.

Essentially, when the vehicle moves at speeds of more than 9mph it will use Google Maps API technology to block off every social media notification as well as incoming calls.

More importantly, the free app for Android will switch off music and play the parents’ Spotify playlist until the teen stops touching their mobile phone or returns to the road’s speed limit.

Uber users warned of malware

Customers of Uber have been warned that a virus could steal their bank card information, according to Kaspersky.

The security firm says that malware called Faketoken imitates Adobe Flash Player and disguises itself in games.

Essentially, victims are responding to a prompt to update their Flash plug-in when watching a video on their smart phone and this then downloads the malware.

Among the apps that have been hit include the Uber ride sharing app with the malware creating a fake window to steal the user’s bank card details as they are being typed in.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

A British mobile only challenger bank called Starling is attracting attention with its business model that is likely to force a rethink in the UK’s financial services sector, say reports. Without any physical branches, the bank relies entirely on its mobile phone app and those behind it say there are opportunities for other fintech firms to enter the sector.

Google has announced that its Android app will now play video previews in search results for those using mobile phones. The new offering is also available on Chrome though for those users who don’t want to watch a video start automatically, the service can be cancelled.

A new mobile phone app that enables users to jump the queue at their favourite clubs and pubs has been unveiled by three businessmen in Manchester. Viper also enables the user to buy drinks before they arrive in the venue.