Daily Crunch: Stocks plummet after travel ban

We’ve got a barrage of news related to the COVID-19 pandemic, while Comscore partners with Twitch and the ACLU sues over facial recognition in airports. Here’s your Daily Crunch for March 12, 2020.

1. US institutes 30-day travel ban on Europe, taps SBA and tax deferrals to stimulate the economy

Let’s see if I can fit all the recent COVID-19-related news into one entry. The big one is President Donald Trump’s decision to institute a 30-day ban on travel from Europe — not tech news per se, but it’s going to have a huge impact on tech companies and the broader economy. In fact, stocks were falling again this morning.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has officially declared that this is a pandemic, and Twitter is making it mandatory for employees to work from home.

2. Comscore partners with Twitch to bring gaming and esports viewership stats to advertisers

The deal will see Comscore measuring video streaming activity across Twitch, including gaming and esports, as well as other audience viewing metrics. This will allow advertisers to get a better understanding of video viewing behavior on Twitch, which helps them target their campaigns to reach key demographics.

3. ACLU sues Homeland Security over airport face recognition program secrecy

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in a New York federal court on Thursday, demanding that the agency turn over records to understand the scope of its airport face recognition system. The group wants to know who Homeland Security works with — including private companies and airlines — as well as internal policies and guidance on how the system is used.

4. European lawmakers propose a ‘right to repair’ for mobiles and laptops

More generally, the European Commission wants to restrict single-use products, tackle “premature obsolescence” and ban the destruction of unsold durable goods, in order to make sustainable products the norm.

5. Speedinvest’s new €190 million seed-stage fund is ‘investing on conviction’

Speedinvest broadly targets fintech, deep tech, marketplaces, industrial tech, digital health and consumer tech startups, writing first checks between €50,000 and €1.5 million. A few days before the new fund was unveiled, we interviewed Speedinvest’s CEO Oliver Holle. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Deep North raises $25.7M for AI that uses CCTV to build retail analytics

Deep North’s AI currently measures such parameters as daily entries and exits, occupancy, queue times, conversions and heat maps — a product roadmap that it’s planning to continue growing with this latest investment.

7. AWS launches Bottlerocket, a Linux-based OS for container hosting

AWS has launched its own open-source operating system for running containers on both virtual machines and bare metal hosts. Bottlerocket, as the new OS is called, is basically a stripped-down Linux distribution that’s akin to projects like CoreOS’s now-defunct Container Linux and Google’s container-optimized OS.

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