Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Last week Apple began limiting how developers share information about iPhone owners’ contacts, per Bloomberg. This cuts out a practice that’s been used for years in which developers ask users for access to their phone contacts and sometimes use it for marketing purposes.

Why it matters: Sharing information about Facebook users’ friends without their explicit knowledge is what got Facebook in hot water with Cambridge Analytica in the first place. This move comes as Apple is looking to distance itself and its platform from the sorts of data abuse seen through Facebook's situation and the political backlash that comes with it.

The business: The newly-barred practice has occasionally been aimed at propping up revenue. The latest change also forbids selling those contact databases with third parties.

  • Apple has made very few changes to its rules on contact lists, per Bloomberg. There was one change Apple rolled out in 2012 to allow users to approve what data on contacts was uploaded by developers.

Be smart: Apple can’t change the fact that contact information has already been shared through this practice. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, has been taking swipes at Facebook about user and data privacy, but this move on apps somewhat clashes with their expressed values.

The surprise: Apple made several other changes to its App Store rules last week at its annual developer conference — including banning cryptocurrency mining, changing its stance on free trials, and limiting tracking of web browsing — but this announcement of data sharing restrictions wasn’t made public at the conference.

Go deeper

Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 18,912,947 — Total deaths: 710,318— Total recoveries — 11,403,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 4,867,916 — Total deaths: 159,841 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.