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Photo: Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images)

Apple spent another week on its heels last week, settling cases with regulators and, on Friday, agreeing to delay a controversial plan to start monitoring iPhones for child sexual abuse material.

Why it matters: The individual moves themselves won't hurt Apple and could actually take some pressure off the company. The downside for the company is they show that Apple can back down if pushed hard enough.

Driving the news: Apple said Friday that it would delay implementation of its plan to scan for childhood sexual abuse material, which critics worried could lead to broader screening of otherwise private and encrypted data and communications.

  • The company announced earlier in the week that makers of certain "reader" apps for viewing subscription content would be able to include a link in their apps to an outside web site for managing accounts. The move was made to settle an investigation from Japanese regulators.

The big picture: Those moves followed other concessions that Apple made as part of a tentative deal to settle a class-action lawsuit with developers over the App Store.

  • The concessions around the App Store come as the company looks to preserve the key pillars of that service: Apple's sole control over what apps are allowed, its commission structure and its prohibition of rival payment systems.
  • Critics have called those changes insufficient, and Apple still faces pressure from regulators around the world over the App Store and a lawsuit by "Fortnite" developer Epic Games, which aims to force the company to open the iPhone to other app stores and payment mechanisms. (A trial took place earlier this year, and a federal judge could rule on that suit at any time.)

Go deeper

Big Tech's donation dollars

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Tech's leading companies — like the rest of corporate America — responded to the murder of George Floyd by police in 2020 in part by pledging to give big to racial justice groups.

  • Our analysis of these companies found that, by and large, Big Tech paid up.

Technology, policing and racial bias

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

From Palantir to Ring, to body cameras and GPS databases, technology has transformed policing — and incorporated the biases of its creators.

Why it matters: These advances can fight but also foster racial discrimination.

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block Texas' near-total ban on abortions while federal courts consider its constitutionality.

The big picture: The court last month allowed the ban to take effect, rejecting an emergency application by abortion-rights groups. The law bars the procedure after cardiac activity is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.