☕ Good Monday morning.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
For all the many controversies around Facebook's mishandling of personal data, Google actually knows way more about most of us, Axios chief tech correspondent Ina Fried reports.
What Google collects:
What's next: Today, Google uses its vast trove of data mostly to target ads at us. Increasingly, it will apply the same resource to powering and optimizing the artificial-intelligence-based services that it and its rivals are building.
Advisers to former Vice President Biden say it will be apparent within days whether he has decided to activate a presidential campaign that would likely launch by early April.
The Smart Brevity from Bidenworld: The former vice president is highly likely — but not absolutely certain — to announce soon (by early April).
If Biden decides to go for it, he'll start pressing political allies and potential staff members for firm commitments to join him.
Biden himself has been telling friends about a possible early April launch, and has been saying he has a 95% chance of running.
After Steve Bannon left the White House in 2017, he tried to turn his bombastic nationalism into a global movement and let a progressive documentarian follow him for more than a year — Arizona to Italy, Texas to France.
Despite Bannon's extensive cooperation (and experience in the movie business), the WashPost's Steven Zeitchik wrote in conjunction with the Sundance Film festival premiere that the film is ultimately a "damaging portrait": "A number of moments seem to make the argument that Bannon’s populism is a pose."
Director Alison Klayman says in a Q&A from the filmmaker [Corrects speaker]:
I overheard a lot of gross macho talk that was transphobic and anti-liberal, but I always tried to stay invisible and not make my gender a thing, even though I was the only woman present a lot of the time. ...
Bannon is a very old-fashioned guy, he would occasionally call me "dear," and it made me mad, but I just bit my tongue. I didn't want to be singled out as a woman filmmaker, but at the same time this movie was being made by two progressive women who are trying to capture systemic problems — it's a movie about men who want the traditional hierarchies that exist in the world to prevail.
Bannon, 65, who has seen the film, declined to comment on the record.
Henry Winkler, age 73 — once Fonzie — gives an acting workshop at the South by Southwest festival in Austin yesterday.
Creatives in music, film and tech — who for decades have been the center of attention at South by Southwest — have been overshadowed this year by the arrival of rising political stars, Axios' Sara Fischer writes from Austin.
Critics and investors have always come to SXSW mostly to scout hot trends, products and talents before they got big.
Between the lines: Part of the political blitz at SXSW relates to the rise of attention to the regulation of Big Tech companies, which have long-participated in the festival.
Noticeably absent were conservative politicians and media outlets.
"China’s aviation regulator ... grounded nearly 100 Boeing Co 737 MAX 8 aircraft operated by its airlines, more than a quarter of the global fleet of the jets, after a deadly crash of one of the planes in Ethiopia," Reuters reports.
On board, per AP: Three Austrian physicians. The co-founder of an international aid organization. A career ambassador. The wife and children of a Slovak legislator. A Nigerian-born Canadian college professor, author and satirist."
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
A diverse and growing coalition is pushing Congress to raise the federal age limit for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21, Axios' Caitlin Owens writes.
Where it stands: Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz and Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt previously proposed raising the age limit from 18 to 21, and there's a bipartisan push to try again.
Proponents argue that plenty of 18-year-olds are still in high school, so they can buy tobacco products and pass them along to younger peers. But there aren't a lot of 21-year-olds hanging out with 16-year-olds.
The youths of Generation Z have a more positive view of the word "socialism" than previous generations, and — along with millennials — are more likely to embrace socialistic policies, according to a Harris Poll given exclusively to Axios.
The top 3 voting issues for each generation, according to the Harris poll:
Out tomorrow from longtime U.S. Ambassador Bill Burns, now president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, "The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal."
The book includes accounts of two unheeded warnings about Russia:
Both fears were realized.
For someone with everything ... "Bond King" Bill Gross, 74, once donated his Bloomberg keyboard to the Smithsonian's Museum of American History.
Gross, who reinvented the concept of bond investing, "now plans to spend his time playing golf, in philanthropy and managing his $390m foundation and a personal fortune estimated at about $1.5bn."
The backstory: "Bloomberg works hard to keep its users hooked on its terminal, constantly rolling out new functions and data sets."