Michel Euler / AP

Microsoft has hired former FTC Commissioner Julie Brill to oversee privacy and data protection issues, reporting directly to the company's president and chief legal officer Brad Smith.

Why it matters: Brill's hire signals how important big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning are to the tech giant's future, and the crucial role privacy and security play in keeping consumers' trust. Microsoft says Brill will work closely with its engineering teams to build privacy protections into cloud and other services.

Background: Brill served at the FTC from 2010-2016, and most recently co-led the Global Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group at law firm Hogan Lovells in DC. Her new gig will be based in Redmond.

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Mike Allen, author of AM
28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump-Biden venom on display during final debate

Photos: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images; Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden twice referred to President Trump as "this guy," and Trump called the former vice president's family "like a vacuum cleaner" for foreign money.

Why it matters: The personal venom — during Thursday's final presidential debate, in Nashville — was a reminder that even during a more normal debate, nothing this year is normal.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's hopes of nuclear deal with Putin come down to the wire

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A surprise offer from Vladimir Putin has the U.S. and Russia once again circling a potential pre-election nuclear deal.

The big picture: The last treaty constraining the U.S. and Russia, New START, is due to expire on Feb. 5, 2021, two weeks after the next U.S. presidential inauguration. For the first time since the height of the Cold War, the nuclear guardrails could come off.

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.