Hashtag Trending, March 4, 2021 – Google stops ad sales based on browser history; Back to the office a good idea? And goodbye Google Cardboard

Google will stop selling individualized ads based on your browsing history, majority of Toronto downtown workers say they feel safe to go back to the office, and we say goodbye to Google Cardboard. 

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, March 4, and I’m your host Baneet Braich.


Google to Stop Selling Ads Based on Your Specific Web Browsing from technology

Google says it’s going to be a little less creepy after announcing that it’s stopping ad targeting based on browsing history. This would be a huge change to the advertising industry as many rely on tracking for targeted ads and to measure ad performance. According to one digital ad consultancy, Google accounted for 52 per cent of last year’s global digital ad spending of $292 billion. The change occurs in the midst of hefty criticism on individual tracking by privacy watchdogs and advocates. Google will instead be launching new technology called a privacy sandbox to target ads without collecting information about individuals from multiple websites. Advertisers will instead be able to target cohorts of users with similar interests rather than individual users. 

Do you feel safe returning to the office? With increasing vaccine rollouts, Canadians are considering going back to the office. According to new data from the Toronto Region Board of Trade, 64 per cent of downtown workers say they feel safe going to their workplace. However, 15 per cent say they are not comfortable returning and 21 per cent say they are unsure. Many are voicing on social media that they enjoy the comforts of their home, while others are on board for hybrid models to work. This also means city planners in Toronto Downtown will need to work extra hard to ensure safety in areas like the TTC and Metrolinx. Meanwhile, elevators, ventilation and safe office management will also be crucial for organizations. [LinkedIn]

Google’s VR dreams are dead: Google Cardboard is no longer for sale from technology

Cardboard meets VR. Well, not anymore actually. You might recall Google Cardboard… well it’s dead. The company stopped selling the Google Cardboard VR viewer on the Google Store. This is the last shutdown of Google’s ambitious VR efforts. The $20 headset was a huge hit at Google I/O 2015 as a literal piece of cardboard, shaped like a VR headset, with special plastic lenses. It was powered by the Cardboard App for both Android and IOS. For few years Google was very enthusiastic about VR but then it lost interest when there was no immediate success with other VR tech like the Google Daydream. So long Google cardboard. Go join Stadia as you ride off into the sunset.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your mailbox every day. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening!

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