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Apple And Google Collaborate to Stop Unwanted Tracking of People by Bluetooth Devices

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Tech giants Apple and Google have collaborated to stop the use of Bluetooth tracking devices from stalking people without their consent.

These Bluetooth devices were specifically made to help users find lost things like keys, Wallets, Luggage, and Wristwatch, or locate other things that have the tendency to be missed, but have however been misused for stalking and unwanted tracking of people.

Google’s Vice President speaking on the issue said, “Bluetooth trackers have created tremendous users benefits, but they also bring the potential of unwanted tracking, which requires industry-wide action to solve. Android has an unwavering commitment to protecting users, and will continue to develop strong safeguards and collaborate with the industry to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices.”

In a bid to address this issue, Google and Apple via a proposal, have outlined standards to ensure products like Apple Airtag and similar tech gadgets aren’t misused for stalking people. The proposal is also backed by Samsung and the companies that produce other popular tracking brands such as Chipolo, Tile, and Pebblebee.

The companies disclosed that they plan to create software that will send an alert to a user’s phone when it detects a nearby tracker that has been separated from the owner’s device and help them find and disable it.

The trackers would be designed to make a sound when it is separated from its owner’s device, or when a non-owner has been notified of its presence and is trying to find it. Manufacturers would also have to provide instructions or a visual guide on how to disable a tracker once a non-owner finds it.

Speaking on the collaboration of Google and Apple to address the misuse of Bluetooth trackers from tracking and stalking people without their consent, the CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) Alexandra Reeve Givens said,

“Today’s release of a draft specification is a welcome step to confront harmful misuses of Bluetooth location trackers. CDT continues to focus on ways to make these devices more detectable and reduce the likelihood that they will be used to track people. A key element to reducing misuse is a universal, OS-level solution that can detect trackers made by different companies on the variety of smartphones that people use every day.

“We commend Apple and Google for their partnership and dedication to developing a uniform solution to improve detectability. We look forward to the specification moving through the standardization process and to further engagement on ways to reduce the risk of Bluetooth location trackers being misused”.

Although, Apple and Google did not provide a date on when the features would be rolled out, which will come in the form of software updates. However, Investors King understands that Apple has disclosed that it is hopeful to have a version of the updates released by the end of the year.

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Fintech

Leatherback Set for International Growth as EFCC Drops all Fraud and Misconduct Allegations

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Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dropped all allegations of fraud and misconduct against Leatherback, a leading financial services technology company, and the company’s CEO, Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade.

In November 2023, EFCC announced that it had been made aware of the possibility of fraudulent activities on the Leatherback platform, leading to an investigation into the company’s operations to establish the facts. Cooperating fully with EFCC and working transparently with the organisation’s officials to provide a forensic view of its operations, Leatherback was able to unequivocally prove its innocence, leading the EFCC to drop all allegations and take down all previous communications on its website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) around the matter.

Leatherback supported the EFCC investigation by making over 5,000 printed documents available to officials to enable as much clarity as possible. Leatherback also filed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in the UK and Nigeria.

According to Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade, CEO of Leatherback, “I am relieved to see the end of this arduous episode, but I am even more delighted to see that myself and Leatherback, as an organisation, have been completely cleared of all wrongdoing. With this episode firmly behind us, we are poised to accelerate our mission to provide a single access point that empowers individuals and businesses to be truly global, delivering best-in-class financial, payment, and commerce solutions that remove barriers to global growth and mobility for all citizens of the world.”

Headquartered in London, Leatherback is regulated in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Canada, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, enabling the platform to serve customers across a wide range of markets effectively. Tens of thousands of individuals and businesses already use the platform to support business and lifestyle opportunities every day. Leatherback is also FCA Authorised, PCI DSS Compliant, and ISO Certified.

About Leatherback

Leatherback offers financial services to businesses and individuals in multiple countries with no restrictions. Users can access up to 15 currencies from 21 countries, including NGN, GBP, INR, EUR, USD, and many other currencies. Users can also send and collect money locally and internationally, with invoicing, analytics, and permissions features available for businesses.

For more information, please visit: http://www.leatherback.co

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Carbon Acquires Vella Finance to Enhance SME Offerings

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Carbon - Investors King

Digital financial services provider Carbon has completed the acquisition of Vella Finance, a Nigerian fintech company specializing in serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The acquisition, announced through an official statement on Wednesday, signifies Carbon’s strategic move to bolster its SME offerings.

Although the financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, Carbon’s acquisition of Vella Finance, founded two years ago under its parent company, One Credit Limited, underscores its commitment to expanding its footprint in the fintech space.

Vella Finance’s expertise in AI-powered SME banking solutions particularly caught the attention of Carbon.

Through this acquisition, Carbon aims to leverage Vella Finance’s innovative technology to provide actionable insights from financial transactions to its SME customers.

Tolu Adedayo, co-founder and COO of Vella Finance, expressed enthusiasm about the integration, noting that several team members from Vella Finance have joined Carbon following the acquisition.

Adedayo further revealed that Vella Finance’s 8,000 SME customers would be transitioned to Carbon Business in the near future.

Chijioke Dozie, co-founder of Carbon, emphasized the alignment of values and vision between Carbon and Vella Finance, highlighting the potential for synergies and growth in the SME banking segment.

The acquisition marks a significant milestone for both companies as they aim to revolutionize financial services for SMEs in Nigeria.

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E-commerce

Alibaba Eyes Gulf Expansion, Seeks Partnerships in Saudi and UAE Markets

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Alibaba CEO Jack Ma gestures as he is introduced to participate in a panel discussion at the APEC CEO Summit in Manila

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the prominent Chinese e-commerce giant, is actively pursuing expansion into the Gulf region, notably in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Alibaba’s president, Michael Evans, revealed the company’s strategy during a panel discussion at Dubai’s World Government Summit, highlighting a commitment to local partnerships as a key aspect of their approach.

Evans underscored Alibaba’s recent endeavors in Saudi Arabia, indicating a concerted effort to deepen its presence in the region’s burgeoning e-commerce landscape.

The move signifies Alibaba’s strategic pivot towards collaborative ventures following a period of strategic realignment prompted by government scrutiny and leadership changes.

The Gulf’s growing ties with China, driven by mutual economic interests and investment diversification initiatives, present an opportune moment for Alibaba’s expansion efforts.

However, geopolitical complexities, including heightened US scrutiny of China-linked entities, add a layer of challenge to Alibaba’s Gulf aspirations.

As Alibaba seeks to reclaim its leadership position in the global tech industry, the pursuit of partnerships in Saudi Arabia and the UAE underscores the company’s adaptive approach to international expansion.

The success of these ventures could potentially reshape the Gulf’s e-commerce landscape and deepen economic ties between the region and China.

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