Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

AmazonBasics private label products on the shelves at Go in Seattle. Photos: Erica Pandey/Axios

Alarm bells are going off in the U.S. and Europe over Big Tech's invasion of our privacy. The companies are betting hard on one thing: That consumers — especially younger ones — won't care too much what you know about them as long as you give them really cool stuff.

I would know — I'm one of them.

The big picture: Per a February survey by IBM's Institute for Business Value, 71% of consumers say it's worth sacrificing privacy for the benefits of technology.

  • A whopping 81% say they're concerned about how their data is being used, but only 45% have actually updated privacy settings on an app or account in the last year and a measly 16% have stopped using a tech company's service because of data misuse.
  • According to an Axios poll, 46% of consumers ages 18–24 say they always accept companies' privacy policies without reading a single word. Only 15% of those over 65 say they do the same.

Why it matters: This is why surveillance capitalism has boomed. I, like scores of others, have decided that I'm OK with giving up personal data in order to keep getting convenient, cheap (or free) services. Despite the known episodes of firms misusing data, the ease and quality of life under the reign of Big Tech generally seems worth it.

  • On top of that, despite the public techlash, many of the companies at the pinnacle of data capitalism — Amazon, Microsoft and Google — are among the most trusted institutions in the country. Part of the gamble is that many consumers believe companies won't do anything untoward with their personal information.

Shoshana Zuboff's new book on this new economy — “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” — misses this, author Nicholas Carr wrote in the LA Review of Books:

"Many people, it seems clear, experience surveillance capitalism less as a prison, where their agency is restricted in a noxious way, than as an all-inclusive resort, where their agency is restricted in a pleasing way. Zuboff makes a convincing case that this is a short-sighted and dangerous view — that the bargain we've struck with the internet giants is a Faustian one — but her case would have been stronger still had she more fully addressed the benefits side of the ledger."

For example, two weeks ago, while in Seattle, I visited my first Amazon Go store. The small, seemingly harmless shop's capabilities for snooping are immense.

  • It knows I picked up a soda, thought about buying it, but decided not to. And Amazon can later feed me ads for soda, or come out with its own, lower-calorie Amazon soda for me and others like me.
  • It knows exactly how I moved about the store, what items I bought together and when I bought them. Amazon can use my walking patterns, along with those of hundreds of thousands of others, to better design its store and aisles and sell more stuff.
  • This kind of data is not unlike what every other retailer collects. But Amazon can combine Go insights with all of its pre-existing data about my online shopping, watching and listening habits through Amazon Prime and Alexa to create an even fuller picture of me.

But when it comes to Go — or Instagram following what I'm "liking" to point me to clothes I'll buy or Uber tracking where I'm going and what I'm ordering — I just don't care what the company knows. As one millennial friend put it, "Take my data; give me free shit.“

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
14 mins ago - Economy & Business

2021's expected earnings blowout begins

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

14 mins ago - Science

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

Ingenuity on the surface of Mars, filmed by NASA's Perseverance rover. Photo: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hopping the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Healthcare workers getting COVID-19 vaccines on Dec. 16, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, meeting President Biden's April 19 deadline.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.