Brace yourself. This is the last issue of Login for 2018. We'll be back in the new year — Jan. 3, to be specific. In the meantime, you can always get the latest news, tech and otherwise, at Axios.com.
A shopper browses the aisles of an Amazon Go store. Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
In crafting new privacy laws to cover tech giants' vast appetite for user data, lawmakers are finding that they're having to draw up new rules for the old-fashioned brick-and-mortar world, too.
Why it matters: Consumer data is now the most valuable asset for nearly all companies — not just digital ones, David McCabe reports. Most large businesses operate simultaneously in both realms, and the boundaries between data's use online and offline have blurred.
The big picture: Consumers understand that Google and Facebook track them, but the same kind of profiling increasingly happens in the physical world — from facial recognition at Taylor Swift concerts to Amazon's cashier-less convenience store. Any new privacy law will have to reckon with questions about transparency and consumer choice not only in apps and on websites but as we walk through stores and drive down streets.
By the numbers: Companies across the economy gather data on consumers in the physical world for a wide range of business purposes.
Offline data collection can then be merged with online targeting — and nowhere is this more evident than with location data.
Why you'll hear about this again: Federal lawmakers are under pressure to write a national privacy law, spurred on by data scandals at Facebook and Google.
David has more here.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
We still know very little about the drones that shut down Gatwick, the U.K.'s second busiest airport, but their example is a painful reminder of our transportation system's vulnerabilities, Kim Hart and Justin Green report.
The big picture: This is why drone manufacturers want rules to prevent incidents like this that significantly damage trust in the nascent industry. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration was expected to craft regulations this year. That didn’t happen, and drone companies aren’t happy.
Catch up quick:
Between the lines: These kinds of events give public safety and law enforcement agencies ammunition to say, “This is why drones are a safety and national security threat.” They have a point.
In addition to increased interest in recreational drones, tech companies like Google, Amazon and Intel have invested in developing the technologies for their own business purposes, such as package delivery.
What to watch: To help appease security concerns, drone makers support remote identification standards so officials can spot drones operated by potential hostile actors.
Be smart, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: Gatwick is uniquely susceptible since it's a small, single-runway airport (not small in impact but in area).
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Apple said Thursday it would temporarily stop selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in its stores in Germany after a court there issued an injunction in a Qualcomm-related lawsuit.
Details: The ruling applies to iPhones that infringe on a Qualcomm patent related to power management, specifically those with an Intel modem and a chip from Qorvo.
Apple said it will appeal the decision and, in the meantime, continue to sell the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max in its 15 stores, adding that the older models remain available from carriers and retailers.
In order to have the injunction enforced, Qualcomm is required to post a hefty bond in case the decision is later overturned. Qualcomm said it plans to do so in a matter of days.
The context: The ruling follows a separate injunction issued recently in China over different patents. Apple issued a software update and continues to sell all iPhone models there.
Apple and its allies, meanwhile, are readying for an FTC trial against Qualcomm over its business practices, which is slated to start Jan. 4.
What they're saying:
Bottom line: This case was already one of the biggest legal battles in tech, and the latest rulings have only increased the stakes.
Thursday's news was chock full of reasons to believe that technology is making our world less secure.
Among the developments:
Bottom line: Technology opens many doors. Unfortunately, those doors are also open to bad actors.