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Photo: Nasir Kachroo / NurPhoto via Getty Images

After a week of brutal publicity about Facebook data-harvesting by outsiders, including Cambridge Analytica, a new nightmare began for Mark Zuckerberg's company over the weekend.

The headline, from Ars Technica, a tech site owned by Condé Nast: "Facebook scraped call, text message data for years from Android phones."

  • Wait! What? "Facebook uses phone-contact data as part of its friend recommendation algorithm. ... If you granted permission to read contacts during Facebook's installation on Android a few versions ago ... that permission also granted Facebook access to call and message logs by default."
  • Facebook responded: "People have to expressly agree to use this feature."

Be smart: It's clear from the online outrage that many people didn't realize what they were agreeing to.

Go deeper

FBI report likely to show record increase in murders in 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If the FBI data released next week shows what's expected — that 2020 saw the highest single-year spike in U.S. murders in at least six decades — experts say the sudden job losses, fears and other jolts to society at the start of COVID-19 will likely have been the overwhelming drivers.

Why it matters: Many Democrats already feared that rising crime could hurt their party in the 2022 midterms.

15 mins ago - Health

Some experts see signs of hope as COVID cases fall

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

New coronavirus cases are continuing to decline, and some experts are cautiously optimistic that the virus will continue to wane even into the fall and winter.

The big picture: The next few months are highly uncertain, and some localized outbreaks are all but guaranteed. But the U.S. is at least moving in the right direction again.

Air quality alerts issued as California fires threaten more sequoias

The Windy Fire blazes through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees near the Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest, near California Hot Springs, on Tuesday. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two wildfires were threatening California's sequoia trees over overnight — hours after authorities issued fresh evacuation orders and warnings, along with air quality alerts.

The big picture: Air quality alerts were issued Wednesday for the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley as smoke from the Windy and KNP Complex fires resulted in hazy, "ash-filled" skies from Fresno to Tulare, the Los Angeles Times notes.