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Facebook users are seeing more targeted ads from pharmaceutical companies — an ethical gray area for patient data and privacy, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Drug companies don't need to know your medical history to target you for a a drug, and seeing a surprisingly relevant medical ad can feel invasive.

How it works: Drug companies can use your browsing history, along with your age, gender and location, to figure out health issues you may have and market their treatment.

By the numbers: Pharmaceutical and health care brands spent nearly $1 billion dollars last year on Facebook mobile ads. Their spending has nearly tripled over two years, according to Pathmatics, an advertising analytics company.

Health privacy laws like HIPAA don't address this intersection of drug companies, data brokers and social media networks.

Go deeper: Big Tech's enormous access to patients' health data

Go deeper

Trump bump: NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions tripled since 2016

Data: Axios reporting and public filings; Chart: Axios Visuals

The New York Times and The Washington Post have very different strategies for building the subscription news company of the future.

The big picture: Sources tell Axios that the Post is nearing 3 million digital subscribers, a 50% year-over-year growth in subscriptions and more than 3x the number of digital-only subscribers it had in 2016. The New York Times now has more than 6 million digital-only subscribers, nearly 3x its number from 2016.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
20 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's emerging climate orbit

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

As of Tuesday morning, we know a lot more about President-elect Joe Biden climate personnel orbit, even as picks for agencies like EPA and DOE are outstanding, so here are a few early conclusions.

Why it matters: They're the highest-level names yet announced who will have a role in what Biden is promising will be a far-reaching climate and energy agenda.

Janet Yellen is back

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

A face familiar to Wall Street is back as a central player that this time will need to steer the country out of a deep economic crisis.

Driving the news: President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary.

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