That's the shift key, not a snooze button. Nope, that's the space bar. I know, none of us like Mondays. But it's here.
Today's Login is 1,228 words, a 5-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
People warning about the potentially chilling collision of big data sets and emerging technologies can now point to Clearview, the secretive facial recognition startup that scraped images from some of the largest public internet sites to create a database now used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country.
Why it matters: Facial recognition tools have already raised privacy concerns in the U.S. and abroad, particularly when they're used by government, but the controversy over Clearview has shown that both industry and law enforcement are moving faster than the debate.
To recap: The issue came to light in mid-January when the New York Times published a startling exposé by Kashmir Hill on the company and its database of more than 3 billion images taken from various web sites.
Since then there have been:
Clearview remains a tiny company that was started with seed money from Peter Thiel, the Trump-supporting tech entrepreneur who sits on Facebook's board, and co-founded by a former aide to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Between the lines: In the weeks since the initial Times report, the debate over Clearview, and face recognition technology more broadly, has continued and intensified.
What they're saying:
Our thought bubble: We clearly need a conversation about the rules and laws that should govern use of facial recognition. We also need one on what rights people should have over their own likenesses.
Go deeper: Kashmir Hill is expected to discuss the story, its origins and the fallout on today's episode of the Times podcast, "The Daily."
Sen. Josh Hawley, (R-Mo.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
GOP Sen. Josh Hawley's frustration with the FTC's policing of the tech industry has prompted him to propose taking the more-than-100-year-old agency off of merger reviews and turning what remains into a wing of the Justice Department, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.
The big picture: The FTC has been under fire from both Republicans and Democrats calling for tougher action on Big Tech. Hawley's pitch is to hand the agency's competition authority to the Justice Department's antitrust division so that a reimagined FTC could hone its focus on privacy and other digital issues.
Yes, but: Relocating the agency, created in 1914, to a branch of the Justice Department is a tall order, and it's unclear if Hawley's idea will gain any support.
Details: Hawley says his plan would make the FTC directly accountable to the Justice Department while giving it special authority to address digital markets.
What they're saying: "The FTC isn't working," Hawley said in a statement. "It wastes time in turf wars with the DOJ, nobody is accountable for decisions, and it lacks the 'teeth' to get after Big Tech's rampant abuses. Congress needs to do something about it."
What it doesn't do: For his proposal, Hawley rejected the idea of creating a brand new agency to police tech companies, saying his overhaul of the FTC is the better answer.
What's next: Legislation based on the proposal will come in short order, according to a Hawley aide.
The list of companies skipping Mobile World Congress this year continues to grow, a trend that may accelerate now that Ericsson has decided to take a pass. Amazon, LG, Nvidia and Sony have also said they won't be attending due to coronavirus concerns.
Why it matters: The best thing about Mobile World Congress is the fact that it brings together the biggest names in the wireless industry. But this year, some of those big names won't be going to Barcelona.
Driving the news:
My thought bubble: Ericsson typically hosts one of the biggest booths at the show and is a central player in the mobile industry. By pulling out, Ericsson has given other companies cover to do the same, and actually puts the pressure on companies to justify why they are sending their employees.
Go deeper: All the ways that the coronavirus is affecting the tech industry (The Verge)
Photo: Ina Fried/Axios
Samsung just couldn't wait until Tuesday's Unpacked event to show off its new foldable smartphone. The company used a commercial during the Oscars to tease the new phone, which has already been widely leaked.
The big picture: Foldables, led by the original Galaxy Fold and Motorola's Razr, are the current novelty of the smartphone market.
While the new foldable, expected to be called the Galaxy Z Flip, is likely to be the toast of the Tuesday event, the mainstay is the next generation of the Galaxy S family, which has also widely leaked, and is expected to be dubbed the Galaxy S20.
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