Google Debuts Generative AI Tools Aimed to Help Merchants

Google is rolling out a suite of AI-powered marketing tools designed to help small businesses make the most of the holiday sales season. Merchants can add a “small business” attribute to their Search and Maps results and generate advertising and promotional materials using something called Product Studio. “Eighty-four percent of people say supporting local and/or small businesses is important to them, so we’re making it easier to find them on Google,” the company writes. Products and businesses with the “small business” label “will make it easier for shoppers to narrow down their searches and be intentional about shopping.” Continue reading Google Debuts Generative AI Tools Aimed to Help Merchants

Newsom Makes California ‘Delete Act’ Data Protections Law

Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 362, also known as the Delete Act, into law on Tuesday, giving California consumers the ability to demand all data brokers delete their personal information with a single request. The Delete Act expands privacy controls for state residents, giving the California Privacy Protection Agency more power to regulate data brokers, who will face strict penalties for failing to comply. The new law, authored by state Senator Josh Becker, makes California the first U.S. state to create a convenient deletion mechanism for consumers who don’t want their personal information held or sold by data brokers. Continue reading Newsom Makes California ‘Delete Act’ Data Protections Law

California Plans to Protect Consumer Privacy with Delete Act

California lawmakers have put data brokers on notice. A bill known as the Delete Act would allow consumers to require all such information peddlers to delete their personal information with a single request. The bill defines “data brokers” as any number of businesses that collect and sell people’s personal information, including residential address, marital status and purchases. Both houses last week passed the proposed legislation — Senate Bill 362 — and it now heads to Governor Newsom’s desk. If he signs it, the new law will go into effect in January 2026. Continue reading California Plans to Protect Consumer Privacy with Delete Act

Intuit’s GenOS Spawns Its First Customer AI Product: ‘Assist’

Financial software giant Intuit is adding a customer-facing AI assistant to work with individuals and small businesses. Intuit Assist is being integrated across Intuit products starting with TurboTax and expanding to QuickBooks, Credit Karma and Mailchimp. Assist will be embedded across Intuit’s products via a common user interface, allowing customers to get personalized recommendations via contextual datasets. The generative AI assistant was built using Intuit’s Generative AI Operating System, a proprietary corporate model dubbed GenOS, launched in June. Intuit is working with OpenAI to accelerate GenAI app development on GenOS. Continue reading Intuit’s GenOS Spawns Its First Customer AI Product: ‘Assist’

TikTok Adding New Traffic and Audience Targeting Features

TikTok is launching new targeting and boosting features for Promote, a tool designed to drive traffic to a profile or brand home page. First launched in 2021, Promote is touted as a way to turn viewers into potential leads. TikTok says Promote improves audience targeting while letting small businesses and creators strengthen ties with communities by customizing how users interact with their ads. A recent study shows that positioning an “organic” TikTok video before a paid ad “increases aided brand recall by 27 percent” and holds attention to the ad “12 percent longer,” according to the social platform. Continue reading TikTok Adding New Traffic and Audience Targeting Features

New Domain Names: Get Ready for the Dot-Everything Boom

Around 1,000 new domain names are about to be added to the Internet, and as a result, on February 4th, anyone will be able to scoop up new Web addresses using these domains. The common standard domain names are the .com, .org and .net suffixes. But the number of generic top-level domain names (or gTLDs) will soon expand to include names like .coffee, .soy, .dot and .lol, among many others. This major shift could resemble the online real estate market of the dot-com boom era. Continue reading New Domain Names: Get Ready for the Dot-Everything Boom

Will iBeacon Revolutionize Interactions in the Physical World?

Apple’s iBeacon and its Bluetooth Low Energy technology may soon revolutionize the way we interact in the physical world — and it’s already built into most iPhones. The technology is growing as more retail stores install sensors to track shoppers. It is also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. And instead of people having to launch an app or whip out a credit card when they’re out and about, their phones will do it for them — automatically. Continue reading Will iBeacon Revolutionize Interactions in the Physical World?