Global Marketing News – 26th February 2016
Baidu exposed for mobile user surveillance
An online security firm has found that thousands of apps using code written by the Chinese internet giant Baidu are sending unencrypted sensitive data to the company.
Citizen Lab found that Baidu’s mobile browser, Baidu’s Windows browser, apps built using Baidu’s software development kit and other Baidu apps were all affected.
The affected apps are thought to have been downloaded hundreds of millions of times.
The apps transmit unencrypted data to Baidu, including a user’s location, what websites they’d visited and what search terms they’d used.
A spokesperson from Citizen Lab commented on the findings, saying: “It’s either shoddy design or it’s surveillance by design.”
Baidu has admitted that it collects the data for commercial purposes, but has refused to say if it is sharing the data with other companies.
The EU targets Google’s advertising division
The European Commission has allegedly relaunched an investigation into anti-competitive practices by Google’s advertising division.
According to an anonymous source involved in the investigation, Google AdWords is accused of breaking anti-competitiveness rules.
It stands accused of unfairly using its wealth to secure exclusive deals with Apple to make Google the default search engine on iPhones. A clause in the Google AdWords contract that prohibits advertisers from moving ad campaign data to a rival is also being investigated.
The Google AdWords investigation forms part of a larger EU investigation into the search engine. It also stands accused of abusing its dominance to give an unfair advantage to its Google Shopping service and mobile operating system.
If the charges against Google are successful, the search engine may be forced to pay fines of up to 10% of its revenue, which could total as much as 6.6 billion US dollars.
Google and Orange to boost mobile internet in Middle East and Africa
Google and Orange have joined forces to increase the number of people using mobile internet in the Middle East and Africa.
Orange customers in the area can now buy a “digital communication package” costing just 40 dollars, the cheapest such package in the region.
The package will give users access to Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube and sport, music and fashion content, as well as call and text allowances.
Orange will also be releasing smartphones already loaded with Google apps that will help users to access key services and also educate them on how to use the internet to find information and communicate with others.
It will offer local language support on the devices, and also develop new services that will be useful to the market.
Research reveals the Luxembourg ecommerce landscape
And finally, research by Statec has revealed the ecommerce landscape in Luxembourg.
80% of internet users in the country engage in ecommerce, with people aged 25 to 34 being the most likely to buy items online, with a digital buyer penetration rate of 87%. Even the age group with the lowest number of digital buyers, those aged 65 to 74, saw an impressive digital buyer penetration rate of 69%.
Men were slightly more likely than females to engage in ecommerce, with 82% of men buying online compared to 77% of women.
Online buyers preferred to buy from other EU countries than from their own country. 88% said they had bought from another EU country, compared to just 28% who had bought from a Luxembourg ecommerce site, and 25% who had bought something from a site outside of Europe.
The most popular online product categories were clothes and sports goods; books, magazines and newspapers; and holiday accommodation.
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