(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

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

1 — Gmail app developers have been reading your emails.

Google keeps making the news – and sometimes not in a good way. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that third-party app developers can read the emails of millions of Gmail users. Not only that but Gmail’s access settings allow data companies and app developers to view private details, including recipient addresses, time stamps, and entire messages. While the apps need to receive user consent, the consent form isn’t clear that it would allow humans, not just computers, to read users’ emails. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Google says it only gives data to vetted third-party developers and with users’ explicit consent. I’m not saying you should panic but if your company – like mine – uses Gmail for your corporate email then be aware that your information may not be as private as you think.

2 — How technology is saving PetSmart millions by eliminating sales fraud.

PetSmart says it saved $12 million in 2017 by catching criminals using high-tech methods—specifically, pinpointing fraudulent orders before they were shipped. Like many other retailers, it is using advanced machine learning technology from fraud prevention service Kount to take fraud prevention to the next level by not just stopping losses at the stores but also helping authorities prosecute criminals. By tracking online fraudsters in 2017, PetSmart was able to cancel nearly $4 million in fraudulent orders and is on track to do even better in 2018. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re selling products online you’re exposed to fraudulent transactions when criminals use stolen credit card numbers to purchase products. That’s not fun. The good news is that there are a bunch of companies using artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help you – like PetSmart and others – minimize this risk.

3 — Middle East tech firms are eager to attract investments from a $15B Chinese fund.

A new $15 billion joint venture between Chinese companies and a London investment firm has launched a fund to invest in technology companies globally—but predominantly in China—and Middle East tech firms are anxious to attract these big Chinese investments. (Source: The National)

Why this is important for your business:

Regional tech companies have the potential to attract capital from the investment vehicle, especially as the UAE, the second-biggest Arabian Gulf economy, has removed visa restrictions for Chinese visitors and has forged closer investment ties with Beijing.  In my opinion all money’s green and as China’s economic power grows look for more capital opportunities that can potentially benefit your business too.

4 — MeetFrank nets $1.1M for its passive job matching chatbot.

A ‘secret’ recruitment app called MeetFrank, which uses machine learning plus a chatbot wrapper to simplify passive job hunting and talent-to-vacancy matching, has closed a $1.1 million seed funding round to expand in European markets. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Founded in September 2017, the Estonian startup says it has about 125,000 active users in its first markets, such as Finland, Sweden, and Germany, and approximately 2,000 companies are currently using the app to try to attract talent. There are a growing number of companies using chatbots to improve their recruiting process too.

5 — SoftBank invests in a ‘handy Japan’ hotel technology service.

Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank announced this week that it is investing in a mobile device service for hotel guests, called handy Japan, which offers information on tourist attractions and internet access. Handy, which works as a smartphone rental that’s a complimentary hotel service, rolled out in Japan in July 2017 and is available in 650,000 rooms in 4,000 hotels in 82 countries. The device can contact a hotel’s concierge, link to the internet, make local and international calls, and provide multilingual city guides. (Source: Japan Today)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re a business traveler, mobile apps like Handy will be commonplace in the very near future. If you’re part of the travel industry your customers and guests will expect you to also provide mobile apps like this one too.



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