Hello from Vancouver. I'll be bringing you updates all week from the TED Conference. Among the tech-focused presenters, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey is speaking on Tuesday.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
For years, we've known that the phones we love and are glued to also record our locations, faces, and fingerprints. And we've understood that the same sensors that serve our individual needs could also, theoretically, be used to conduct surveillance on us.
Driving the news: It's increasingly clear that things have moved from the theoretical to the real, as a pair of reports in the New York Times underscores.
1. One article details how law enforcement in the U.S. has been making use of a trove of location data assembled by Google, called Sensorvault, that helps find both suspects and witnesses to crime.
2. The other piece describes how China is using facial recognition to identify and take action against its Uighur Muslim population.
Meanwhile, marketers are also stepping up their use of location data to deeply target advertising, as Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
Google has already started to build the next phase of its advertising business around its ability to track users' location in real time.
Why it matters: This data can be used for purposes that some might identify as good and others might find objectionable. But it's most definitely already being used, ever more widely, while our legal systems and personal understandings lag far behind.
Our thought bubble: It's (past) time to start making rules for how this information can and can't be accessed and by whom.
The legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm will reach a critical point this week as a major trial begins in San Diego.
The case gets to the heart of the dispute, asking a jury to decide whether, as Qualcomm maintains, Apple owes it billions in unpaid royalties or if, as Apple argues, Qualcomm's royalty structure is unfair to the point of being illegal.
The bottom line: A verdict won't end the legal battle, as either side can appeal and other cases remain, but it could well determine who has the upper hand as the dispute enters its endgame.
Go deeper: The Wall Street Journal had an in-depth look at the dispute, in particular the animosity both CEOs have for one another.
Nico Belmonte. Photo: Mapbox
Mapbox has tapped Uber's Nico Belmonte to be its GM of maps.
Details: At Uber, Belmonte led a team of more than 50 engineers working on the core business as well as future areas including autonomous vehicles.
Why it matters: Mapping remains a hot area for companies like Google, Apple, Here, and Mapbox that are in the business, as well as for all the internet and transportation companies that rely on such technology.
We've all been there — at a place where we aren't supposed to use our phone, but just want to sneak a quick look.
But, if you're an NBA player — and the place is on the bench during a playoff game — it might be better to resist the urge.
The bottom line: He got both a fine and a reprimand from his coach.
Watch as SpaceX lands all three of its booster rockets for the first time.