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Business Tech Roundup: Google “Cannot Proceed” With Third-Party Cookie Deprecation

By February 11, 2024No Comments

(This column originally appeared in Forbes)


Here are five things in tech that happened this week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Google ‘cannot proceed with third-party cookie deprecation.’

In December Google announced the “phasing out” of third-party cookies but that process could be temporarily suspended by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. The CMA has raised concerns about Google’s Privacy Sandbox – designed to protect online privacy while giving developers and merchants tools to “build a thriving digital business.” A regulator that supports enterprise while reporting unfair business tactics or behavior, the CMA published a report detailing concerns about the Privacy Sandbox such as Google benefiting from user data, the company’s control over digital ad rivals, among others. (Source: Search Engine Land)

Why this is important for your business:

Marketing experts around the world are keeping a close eye on this. Google has already pushed back its plan to ultimately eliminate cookies which will have a dramatic impact on advertisers.

2 – Copilot will learn your OneDrive files without crushing your PC.

Mark Hachman of PCWorld reported on Microsoft’s announcement of Copilot for OneDrive where users can ask the AI assistant to locate files stored on the cloud. Hachman emphasized the significance for two main reasons: One, the large-scale capacity involved in this task. Two, the complex processes required for cloud servers to “learn the content” of a user’s files. In simple terms, Copilot can be asked to find and summarize the contents of files without having to open them. Scheduled to launch in May, a detailed breakdown of Copilot service plans is posted on the Microsoft 365 blog. (Source: PCWorld)

Why this is important for your business:

This is yet another enormous step in the capabilities of AI. Privacy issues aside (and they’re substantial), Microsoft’s Copilot can be a generative AI tool, like ChatGPT, but for a company’s internal data stored on OneDrive. You can ask questions and converse on any topic from quotes to service issues as long as this information is stored there. Of course, Google will soon follow with similar capabilities. This will be a huge help for customer service and sales people who need to access information.

3 – A horrifying deepfake tricks employee into giving away $25 million.

With cybercrime forecasted to cost $9.4 trillion this year, a recent incident out of Hong Kong is one of the latest examples. A finance employee was defrauded of $25M after he received deepfake messages from someone posing as his boss. According to reports, the employee joined a video call with the CFO of the company and the employee’s colleagues. The end result – 15 transfers were made into five local bank accounts despite the employee noticing “something was off” during the call. His suspicions were proved right as it was later discovered everyone who was on the call were deepfake characters once the employee checked in with the actual CFO. The incident has been reported to authorities. (Source: Metro)

Why this is important for your business:

Deepfakes are going to have an enormous security impact on society businesses and that impact is already being felt from President Biden to Taylor Swift to banks in Hong Kong. Before any money leaves your bank accounts you need to make sure your internal controls include multiple levels of documented approvals.

4 – Apple sees ‘great opportunity’ for Vision Pro headset for businesses.

Since its release last Friday, Apple Vision Pro has made a strong impression not only with tech aficionados it’s also advancing into the business world. Fox News reported that Apple executives expressed their enthusiasm about how Vision Pro will benefit businesses of all kinds. “Leading organizations across many industries such as Walmart, Nike, Vanguard, Stryker, Bloomberg and SAP have started leveraging and investing in Apple Vision Pro…” one executive said. “There are firms that are doing design collaboration apps,” Cook added. The Apple Store is offering demos of the headset which currently retails at $3,499.00 (Source: Fox Business)

Why this is important for your business:

Virtual reality headsets are making headways into the commercial world. Real estate agents can give house tours without a customer leaving the office. Restaurants can train employees on making food while they sit in a conference room. Project managers can access files while on a job site. Production staff can see design plans in the air while on the factory floor.

5 – New Gmail rules start blocking emails – in a good way.

That’s what Forbes contribute Davey Winder thinks. This month Gmail has updated requirements for those who send bulk messages – more than 5,000 emails/day – to authenticate their email. Users who don’t follow this requirement will start seeing “error codes” when sending messages (a “small percentage” per Google). A primary reason behind this update is to secure users’ accounts and minimize spam and malware. Neil Kumaran – Product Manager at Google – emphasized that although Gmail is equipped to block “99.9 percent of spam, phishing, and malware,” it’s not enough because infiltrators can still “hijack” an email domain. Further details on this update can be found on the Google Blog. (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:

Google – and other email platforms – have gotten really good and catching spam over the past few years and Winder’s right that it’s a good thing. However, all of these rules do present challenges for those of us who send mass communications to legitimate recipients and businesses that do this need to make sure they are on alert for these new rules.

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