Week Ending: 5th March - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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Change is in the air this month, not only is spring around the corner and nicer weather making things seem relatively normal, but we now have the new COVID-19 roadmap showing us there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In the I.T. and tech industry big changes have been happening too, with Amazon’s new till-less grocery store in London paving the way for the future of shopping, Google changing their personalised ad tracking to stop third-party tracking cookies and how SMBs believe they are too small to be hacked, there’s a lot to catch up on.

Amazon Fresh till-less grocery store opens in London

Online shopping giant, Amazon, has opened its first ‘just walk out’ shop in the UK this week, allowing customers to scan a smartphone app when entering the store and being automatically billed as they leave, no more waiting in long queues for the tills.

The store itself, based in London, will stock hundreds of its own branded items as well as third-party products giving customers a whole lot of choice. It also includes a place to collect and return goods that are bought on Amazon’s online platform.

Natalie Berg, Analyst at NBK Retail commented:

“Having a physical presence will enable Amazon to address some of its weaknesses, like the mounting cost of deliveries and returns. Supermarkets have had a few years now to prepare and test their own checkout-free shopping concepts.”

This innovative way of shopping demonstrates just how technology is developing, and how self-service checkouts could soon be a thing of the past. The technology involved in creating such a store was pioneered at Amazon Go stores in America, which opened to the public in 2018. It uses hundreds of cameras and depth-sensors alongside software developed using deep-learning artificial intelligence. The technology has now been updated and advanced to be able to differentiate between similar products such as bouquets of flowers, magazines and greetings cards.

With Amazon promising a more ‘frictionless’ experience in their store we expect to see more brands moving in this direction.

Read more here.

Google promises to drop personalised ad tracking

One of the world’s largest advertising sellers, Google, has promised this week to stop personalised ad tracking by eliminating third-party tracking cookies.

Not only will personalised ads stop, but Google will also not develop any new way of tracking individual users for adverts after the current method has been phased out.

The way that normal cookies are used is by allowing small amounts of information to be temporarily stored. This information consists of what a user is doing on a website. It can remember items that have been saved in online shopping baskets or if users are online.

Third-party tracking cookies go beyond this, following a user from site to site, it can understand if you are ‘shopping around’ for a particular item. This item is then advertised to you elsewhere, sometimes long after you’ve already bought the item.

Google commented,

“Today, we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build ‘alternative’ identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products. We don’t believe these solutions will meet rising consumer expectations for privacy, nor will they stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions, and therefore aren’t a sustainable long-term investment.”

Many believe that this change will impact marketers, providing an unfair advantage to Google, as Google won’t stop personalised marketing, or gathering of data inside its own products.

Moving away from cookies has been prompted by years of regulations becoming stricter and the increase in consumer awareness. Will this change have a positive affect on how users browse the web and purchase?

Explore more here.

Many SMBs mistakenly believe they are too small to be hacked

Almost half of SMB’s think they are too small to be targeted by a cyberattack according to a report released this week.

The research commissioned by Sectigo surveyed companies with fewer than 500 employees and revealed that almost half think they are too small to be targeted, with 73% believing they are effective at mitigating risk.

Despite this, half admitted having suffered a data breach at some point, with 20% saying they have been breached within the past 12 months.

Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks, with new ways to infiltrate your business and extract sensitive data being discovered each day. The only way to deal with these types of threats is to invest in cybersecurity measures, by protecting your business from potential threats.

Michael Fowler, President of Partners and Channels at Sectigo commented

“No business is too small a target. Attacks continue to evolve, and hackers are increasingly resourceful, making it critical for SMBs to invest in multi-layered solutions that stay ahead of ever-changing threats.”

Almost half of SMBs surveyed said their website is attacked at least once a month, with cyber criminals opting for malware injections, data breaches and brute force login attempts. This goes to show that no matter the size of your business, cybercriminals will attempt to steal data from you if you’re not prepared or protected.

Get in touch at to get the best advice on how to protect your business.

Discover more here.

Those were some of this week’s biggest stories in I.T. and tech, but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels.