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Photo: Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In a letter received by lawmakers in July and obtained by Axios, Google said it has continued allowing apps to collect and share data from Gmail accounts even though lawmakers have raised questions about privacy and possible abuse of user data, reports the WSJ.

Why it matters: Google has been drawing the ire of users, employees, and lawmakers in recent months over some of its practices and for failing to send a senior-enough executive to a hearing on privacy and tech issues earlier this month. Google is expected to face lawmakers at a contentious hearing next week with the Senate Commerce Committee.

The details: As long as app companies are "transparent" with users about how the data is used, Google allows the apps to share data with third parties.

  • Google did not respond to questions lawmakers asked about how many times it has suspended an app for breaking its rules or detailing the times an app has shared data with a third party.

The intrigue: The particular rub, not just for Google but for tech giants allowing the email scanning, is that some have said they stopped this practice when in reality they have continued it.

Go deeper: The big picture: How tech companies snoop through your messages

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.