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1. Cyber Monday totalled $9.2B in US online sales, smartphones accounted for a record $3B
Cyber Monday — the final day of the extended Thanksgiving weekend that traditionally kicks off holiday season spending — broke another e-commerce record: U.S. shoppers racked up a total of $9.2 billion in online sales, according to figures from Adobe.
That said, there is an undercurrent of sluggishness. Following the pattern set during Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Adobe had predicted that spending would reach $9.4 billion — so the actual total fell a bit short.
2. DHS wants to expand airport face recognition scans to include US citizens
In a filing, the department has proposed that all travelers — not just foreign nationals or visitors — will have to complete a facial recognition check before they are allowed to enter the U.S., and also to leave the country.
3. Facebook expands its efforts against ad discrimination
Under the terms of a settlement with the ACLU and other civil rights groups earlier this year, Facebook has been taking steps to prevent discriminatory ad targeting. Today, it’s expanding the enforcement of these rules beyond Facebook Ad Manager to encompass every other place where someone might buy ads on Facebook.
4. AWS launches Braket, its quantum computing service
Amazon isn’t building its own quantum computer. Instead, it’s partnering with D-Wave, IonQ and Rigetti and making their systems available through its cloud.
5. Twitter launches a Privacy Center to centralize its data protection efforts
The Twitter Privacy Center will host information about Twitter’s initiatives, announcements and new privacy products, as well as other communication about security incidents. The company says it wanted to create a centralized resource so it would be easier to find all the information about Twitter’s work in this area.
6. Why Notion is staying small as its valuation gets bigger
We interview Akshay Kothari, COO of work tools startup Notion, in which he discusses the company’s philosophy of staying small — as well as challenges to this strategy as competitors raise massive sums. (Extra Crunch membership required.)
7. Marvel’s new ‘Black Widow’ trailer teases the spy thriller Natasha Romanoff deserves
It’s kind of crazy that we’re only getting a “Black Widow” movie now, but at least the cast — David Harbour! Florence Pugh! Rachel Weisz!! — looks amazing.