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 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!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Mark Zuckerberg testifies before House Energy and Commerce Committee. Photo: Anadolu Agency / via Getty Images

Lawmakers fired up by Mark Zuckerberg's testimony are homing in on privacy as their Big Tech target, with most active attempts to regulate the industry focusing on companies' use of consumer data.

Why it matters: That means other issues — like competition, or the health impact of social-network overuse — aren’t getting much attention.

The details: Several bills already in the mix on Capitol Hill could be used to regulate Facebook and other tech giants.

  • The MY DATA Act would expand the Federal Trade Commission's authority to let it go after unfair and deceptive practices by internet service providers — currently the commission can only act against such practices on the part of edge providers, outfits like Facebook or Google that offer services to users. And it would give the FTC power to proactively make rules protecting privacy. This bill has limited support, and only from Democrats.
  • The BROWSER Act is a Republican-led bill that requires certain web services and internet providers to get permission from users before utilizing certain types of sensitive data. Its approach is supported by a growing number of internet service providers, who are generally closer to the GOP, but it hasn't gained much traction among Democrats.
  • The CONSENT Act would require web services in particular to get opt-in agreement to use data from users and to tell them if there’s been a data breach. Introduced last week, the bill has only two sponsors — both longtime Democratic privacy advocates.
  • The Secure and Protect Americans’ Data Act mandates steps private companies must take to avoid getting hacked, and lays new requirements on companies that experience data breaches. It was re-introduced last year in response to the Equifax breach but, like all data breach regulation in Congress, hasn't gained much momentum.

What’s next: More bills are coming, including privacy legislation from senators John Kennedy and Amy Klobuchar — both of whom have been very critical of Facebook.

It’s not all privacy. The Honest Ads Act increase the disclosure requirements for online political ads. There's been a push to pass it ahead of the midterms, and it has picked up endorsements from Facebook and Twitter.

But, but, but: Even with the pressure on the companies, no proposal has gained the traction needed to become law. That only becomes harder as the midterms get closer and lawmakers turn their attention from legislating to keeping their jobs.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

5 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.