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Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook pledged to put in place concrete actions to address potential past abuse of its platform, and stronger protections going forward.

Why it matters: Facebook is in the midst of one of its worst weeks after as it struggles to contain the fallout from improper use of data by Cambridge Analytica, a firm that worked for the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. The social media company is trying to shore up user trust and show its stakeholders that it knows it needs to do better.

What it's doing: In a post Wednesday, Facebook said it was going to "set a higher standard for how developers build on Facebook, what people should expect from them, and, most importantly, from us." It pledges to:

  • Conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity, and remove developers that misused personally identifiable information. Also investigate apps that had access to large amounts of data before Facebook tightened guidelines in 2014.
  • Inform people if their data might have been accessed inappropriately through an app.
  • Turn off an app's access to your data if it hasn't been used within the last three months.
  • A new version of Login will reduce the data that an app can request to a user's name, profile photo and email address. More data will require Facebook's approval.
  • Make it easier for users to see what apps connect to their accounts and what data they've allowed those apps to use.
  • Expand its "bug bounty" program to reward people for finding misuses of data by app developers.

More coming: Facebook says some of these steps were already in the works before this week's fire drill, and it will roll out more efforts "to put people more in control of their data."

Go deeper

54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.

Staff for retiring Senate Republicans a K Street prize

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The retirements of high-profile Senate Republicans mean a lot of experienced staffers will soon be seeking new jobs, and Washington lobbying and public affairs firms are eyeing a potential glut of top-notch talent.

Why it matters: Roy Blunt is the fifth Republican dealmaker in the Senate to announce his retirement next year. Staffers left behind who can navigate the upper chamber of Congress will be gold for the city’s influence industry.