The results are in. And, with 100% of precincts reporting, I can tell you it is indeed Wednesday.
Also, today's Login 1,414 words, a 5-minute read. But that has yet to be certified.
A TikTok logo is seen on a mobile device. Photo: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images
As TikTok's popularity surges, the Chinese-owned karaoke app is facing rapidly rising headwinds from critics who paint it as a threat to individual users' privacy as well as a geopolitical stalking horse for Chinese interests.
The big picture: As my Axios colleague Sara Fischer reports, TikTok has now hit a milestone — among 13–16 year olds, it's more popular than Facebook.
Driving the news: Success has brought the app into a harsher spotlight.
1. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who has been highly critical of U.S. tech companies' relationships with China, asked TikTok to appear on Capitol Hill at a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, and then left an empty chair when the company failed to show.
2. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) called TikTok "China's best detective" and pressed the company on children’s privacy and in-app purchases in a letter Tuesday.
3. CFIUS: The U.S. agency charged with overseeing foreign investments is reportedly probing TikTok parent Bytedance's 2018 acquisition of Muscal.ly, a similar app that Bytedance purchased and renamed.
4. The Federal Trade Commission: Musical.ly agreed to a $5.7 million settlement earlier this year to resolve an FTC investigation into whether it had illegally collected children’s personal information.
Yes, but: TikTok's success with young creators and audiences is also winning it broader support from other tech companies.
What they're saying: In a blog post, TikTok said it has taken steps to assure independent decision-making, including basing its content moderation team in the U.S. and storing all U.S. user data outside of China.
"They want to be a global company, and numbers-wise, they've had that success. But the purse is still in China: The money always comes from there, and the decisions all come from there."— a former ByteDance manager who left this year, to the Washington Post
Details: Denver-based Special Counsel performed a data storage and security audit commissioned by TikTok.
The bottom line, from former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos: "It's trendy to pretend that concerns about Chinese tech domination are just a smoke screen by U.S. executives, but if you actually care about privacy, safety and content moderation then you need to pay attention to TikTok."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
A proposal for $100 billion in new funding for fundamental AI research is circulating in Congress, Axios' Kaveh Waddell reports. The proposal has bipartisan support, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.
Why it matters: Without a big increase in money for AI research, experts say, the U.S. is liable to fall behind fast-moving adversaries like China on critical emerging tech.
The big picture: The White House has emphasized the need to stay ahead of competitors. But researchers say doing so will require far more funding than the roughly $1 billion currently earmarked for non-defense AI development annually.
What's happening: Speaking at a conference arranged by the National Security Commission on AI, Schumer announced a "discussion draft" circulating in Congress and among companies.
What they're saying: "We will do better dollar-for-dollar than the Chinese government in investing in AI," Schumer said. "But if they outspend us three, four, five to one — which they're doing now — we'll fall behind in five years or 10 years and we will rue the day."
Reps. Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren. Photos: Tom Williams/Getty Contributor; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Staff
A pair of California Democrats want to create a new federal agency to protect U.S. consumers' privacy as part of an online privacy bill unveiled Tuesday, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.
The big picture: Reps. Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren said their Online Privacy Act would create a "Digital Privacy Agency," give users the right to correct and delete information, and impose new restrictions on companies' use of data.
Details: The lawmakers contend the Federal Trade Commission is not up to policing privacy, and argue the sector needs its own regulator, much like the Federal Aviation Administration or the Food and Drug Administration.
The bill also would prohibit companies from using private communications — including email — to target ads, and it would allow consumers to decide how long companies keep their data.
What's next: The lawmakers said the bill is a starting point, but one they believe sets a standard for what a digital privacy law should include.
Yes, but: Republicans are opposed.
Facebook said in a blog post Tuesday that "roughly 100" software developers may have improperly accessed users' data, including the names and profile photos of people in specific groups on the social network, Rebecca Falconer reports.
Why it matters: It's been clear for a while that the company's issues with third parties go beyond Cambridge Analytica. This disclosure gives some indication just how far.
"Although we've seen no evidence of abuse, we will ask them to delete any member data they may have retained and we will conduct audits to confirm that it has been deleted."— Facebook statement
The big picture: Cambridge Analytica announced in May it had filed for bankruptcy protection and that it would close its operations following revelations that it misused Facebook data to build a system to predict and influence elections
Full disclosure before this one: I love listening to John Bercow, the longtime speaker of the British House of Commons, as he calls for "Orrrrddddeeerrrrr." But this puppet-laden video, setting Bercow's commentary to dance music, is a must-watch.