Friday, 26 May 2017 04:41

Biz Break: Google’s getting to know you, and what you buy, better than ever

Gary Reyes/ Bay Area News Group

Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, concludes his keynote address at the annual Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, Calif., on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Google is working to make more user information, such as credit card purchases, available to retailers as part of its efforts to show online ad campaigns lead to purchases in retail stores.

Top of the Order:  

Google Going Ga Ga: We already know that Google is everywhere. And whether you like it or not, Google knows a lot about you. That’s because the world’s biggest internet search engine is the first place where millions — if not billions — of people around the world go to get information online, and it’s a conduit for many of those people putting in their credit card numbers to buy stuff.

And now, Google wants to use all that information to prove that people still buy things at traditional retailers.

On Tuesday, Google said it will start taking the information it gleans from credit cardtransactions to show retailers just how their digital ad programs turned into actual purchases in stores. For Google, the goal is pretty simple: prove to advertisers that their money is well-spent online, and that they should spend more of it with Google, and less on other ad outlets such as television.

That may be fine and dandy for Google, but you can bet that more than a few eyebrows will be raised over the company knowing even more about people and the footprints they leave online. For now, Google is saying all the right things about how its data-gathering formulas are so intricate and secure that there will be no way for the company to know who bought what in the real world, only that a person made a purchase.

The program may also get people to actually start reading the consent forms that come with their credit cards, and wherever they purchase anything online. Sure, Google once liked to say, “Don’t be evil,” but between its new information-sharing plans and reports about an in-house security team that goes after employees who leak information to the press, it may be hard for many people to think of Google as just that search engine with the clever doodles on its home page.

Middle Innings:

It’s “P” vs. “PP”: PayPal, the popular electronic-payments and services company, thinks there’s only room enough in this world for two “P’s” and that Pandora had better just step aside. PayPal has sued Pandora over its new logo, claiming that Pandora’s “P” mirrors PayPal’s “PP” too closely for its liking, and is causing way too much confusion among consumers who can’t tell the difference between one “P” or two.

Does a Bag of Fritos Come With That?: Before too long, if you are 21 or older, you will be able to legally buy marijuana in California. And you can expect all the late-night drive-thru windows at Taco Bell and Jack in the Box to start doing a booming business among the weed burners of the Golden State, too.

But, just because you’re baked doesn’t mean you should get behind the wheel, no matter how good a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos sound. And, even stone-cold sober, they do sound good.

Well, maybe you should raise a bong in salute of Oakland-based Hound Labs? The company has raised $8.1 million and begun clinical trials of its portable marijuana breathalyzer test. If it makes it to market, the device would be the first of its kind for sale. And the gadget already went through roadside tests with law-enforcement officials last fall.

Bottom of the Lineup:

The leading U.S. stock market gauges were able to claim a victory, albeit a mild one. The day was also highlighted by reaction to President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 federal budget, which some referred to as cruel. Others doubted the likelihood of it stimulating large-scale economic growth.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index  edged up by 0.1 percent to 6,138.71.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2 percent to end the day at 20,937.91.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index also gained 0.2 percent to reach 2,398.42.

Quote of the Day: “Life is easier on iPhone.” — Apple (who else?). The company made the claim about life improving with the iPhone on a new web page that Apple put up as part of an effort to attract Android users. As part of the campaign, Apple is offering a trade-in of up to $260 in credit for anyone who switches from an Android phone to an iPhone.

Source: This article was published on By 


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