Still not over the jet lag, but here goes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The tale of the latest Facebook data spill, announced Wednesday by security outfit Upguard, has a unique new twist: No one is shouldering responsibility for the half a billion user records that were exposed on a public server, Axios' Scott Rosenberg writes.
Driving the news: The story broke yesterday when Upguard reported it had found two troves of Facebook user data sitting on publicly accessible Amazon Web Services S3 "buckets" — cloud storage containers used mostly by backend programmers.
The data originated with Facebook. But Facebook maintains that fault lies not with its own practices but rather with the developers of the apps that carelessly stored their data.
The data lived on Amazon's cloud servers. But Amazon says that responsibility for securing data stored with it lies with the companies that put it there.
The data was held by the app makers.
Our thought bubble: Everything these companies say may be correct, but none of it is satisfying.
The bottom line: Facebook and Google have turned user data into advertising gold. But that data can also end up as garbage left out on the net in abandoned "buckets" for mischief-makers and criminals to pilfer. When that happens, "not our fault" won't reassure anyone.
Amid a backdrop of employee activism, Google has released its annual diversity report. As Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva notes, the report shows small improvements in both overall numbers as well as in attrition among certain underrepresented groups.
This is the second year that Google has included the attrition figures as part of its annual diversity report.
Yes, but: Google's report comes in the midst of growing complaints from employees over issues ranging from contract worker policies to the company's involvement with military projects and approach to AI ethics. Google also recently faced criticism over its refusal to remove an app that LGBT activists say amounts to conversion therapy (though it eventually did).
The bigger picture: Tech companies have boosted their efforts to diversify their workforces, but advocates have emphasized that the true measure of those efforts is whether employees from underrepresented groups stay after they've been hired.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Pervasive partisanship and rapid-fire social media echo chambers have exacerbated our tendency to jump to conclusions, Axios' Kim Hart reports.
Research shows the social media ecosystem can lead to snap judgments, even based on incomplete information, to reinforce emotional identities and ideological positions.
Why it matters: Making assumptions is an age-old human flaw, but it is being worsened by the challenges of responding to an increasingly complex world at warp speed.
One of the latest examples played out this week when Stephanie Carter, wife of former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, explained a 2015 photo showing former Vice President Joe Biden standing behind her with his hands on her shoulders, appearing to speak into her ear.
Other examples show how easily narratives catch fire online based on incidents that most of us didn't see firsthand:
Kim has more here.
Photo: Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call
A bill to restore net neutrality rules, rolled back by the Federal Communications Commission in 2017, was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee along party lines on Wednesday, Axios' David McCabe reports.
Why it matters: A vote on the floor of the Democrat-controlled House would raise the profile of this round in the net neutrality fight.
Go deeper: Read the bill.
A man biking around the world found a stray kitten — and brought the little furball with him for the journey.