Apple and Android phones targeted by Italian spyware; Ads for Disproven Cancer Care Rife on meta-platforms

In this weekly segment, ExchangeWire summarizes key industry updates in media, marketing and trade from around the world. In this edition: Smartphones in Italy and Kazakhstan hacked by Italian spyware; Meta-platforms flood users with advertisements for discredited cancer treatments; developers blast Meta app fees on VR; and Amazon is restricting the listing of LGBTQ+ related products to the UAE.

Google unveils Apple and Android phones hacked by Italian spyware

Hacking tools from Italian RCS labs have been used to spy on Apple and Android smartphones, according to Google. The spyware, which was developed by the tech security firm to secretly record private messages and contacts from targeted devices, is said to have infiltrated smartphones in Italy and Kazakhstan.

In response to the revelations, RCS Labs said it operates under European technology rules and complies with law enforcement. The Milan-based consultancy told Reuters in an email that “RCS Lab personnel are not exposed to or involved in any activity conducted by the affected clients”, adding that it condemns any misuse of its software.

Facebook and Instagram run ads for discredited cancer treatments

Ads for unproven and discredited cancer treatments are being served to Facebook and Instagram users without challenge, reports MIT Technology Review. The magazine, which conducted its own analysis of ads on Meta’s platforms, found that some of those ads promoted treatments that have been shown to cause physical harm, while others were for therapies. costly with redundant or dubious results.

One treatment provider promoted by the advertisements is the Centro Hospitalario Internacional del Pacifico, SA (CHIPSA). While CHIPSA’s Facebook ads portray it as being on the “cutting edge” of cancer treatment, the establishment’s Gerson Diet Therapy has been discredited by the medical community for decades. According to MIT research, ads for CHIPSA and similarly dodgy processing providers can spend months in Meta’s ad inventory without issue.

Meta in Hot Water on VR App Fees

The Financial Times reports that developers are frustrated that Meta imposed fees on its VR app store, replicating the loaders on smartphone app stores. For example, The Quest Store, which hosts apps and games for Meta’s popular Oculus Quest 2 VR headset, is slashing digital purchases by 30% and charging fees of between 15% and 30% on subscriptions.

Meta, which has pledged US$10 billion ($8.174 billion) a year to grow the Metaverse over the next decade, however, defended its policies, saying they serve to “promote choice and competition in the world.” ‘VR ecosystem’. The company added, “Our efforts have produced a significant financial return for developers: as we announced earlier this year, over $1 billion has been spent on games and apps in the Meta Quest Store. “.

Amazon restricts LGBTQ+ related products following pressure from UAE

E-commerce giant Amazon has restricted search results for LGBTQ+-related products in the United Arab Emirates following sanctions threats from the country’s government. The UAE is one of 69 countries in the world whose laws criminalize homosexuality.

Speaking to the BBC, an Amazon spokesperson said: “As a company, we remain committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and we believe that the rights of LGBTQ people + must be protected,” but added, “Along with Amazon stores around the world, we must also comply with the local laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate.

The move comes as Pride Month, which is celebrated every June to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising and uplift the LGBTQ+ community, draws to a close.

Also in the news:

– The MadTech Podcast: Digilearning’s Lisa Goodchild on eBay’s NFT Purchase, Premium Tiers, and Big Tech Legal Issues

– Equativ at Cannes Lions – Editors 2.0

– Insights & Attitudes report: The future of advertising in the UK

– ATS London 2022 – Top Tips eBook

– “In a world of walled gardens, we want to be fields” – a recap of Equativ’s Cannes panel

– ATS London 2022: what happened

– IAB GCC’s MENA Digital Adspend Report: What the Industry Says

– The Wires Global – Meet the Judges: Patrick Zinga

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