Jun 4, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: Starbucks executive chairman and former CEO Howard Schultz plans to leave the company at the end of this month. Go deeper.

Join us, DC readers! Axios' Kim Hart is leading a breakfast event Wednesday on how the world will change when we have 5G. RSVP.

1 big thing: Facebook's newest black eye

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook's latest data privacy revelation, a NYTimes scoop on the social network's program of sharing user data with smartphone makers, is opening it up to increased scrutiny from Washington, Axios tech editor Scott Rosenberg writes.

Why it matters: This news seems to contradict what founder Mark Zuckerberg told Congress earlier this year, and critics of the company in Congress and the media are piling on Facebook.

  • As CNN's Dylan Byers wrote in his newsletter today, Facebook "didn't tell the whole truth, it didn't tell it early, and now someone else is telling it instead."

The big picture: Industry insiders are questioning the import of the new revelations, since device makers are a unique and trusted class of "third party" data users — and also since there's no evidence of actual misuse of data this time around.

Democrats have been quick to pounce:

  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.): "Facebook’s secret data sharing partnerships raise urgent new reasons for stronger privacy protections—beginning with a privacy bill of rights modeled on Europe’s new rules (GDPR)."
  • Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ): “Facebook and other data collectors, including these device manufacturers, should be prepared to come before Congress so that we can get a better grasp of the entire data collection ecosystem."

And Republicans seem more primed than before. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Hugh Hewitt on Saturday:

"We have found, having Facebook come before Congress, that there is a problem there that the users, are they truly knowing what’s happening with their information and others? I think this is an area that Congress needs to look at throughout."

The bottom line: Everything Facebook does with data is now coming under a microscope, and instead of getting out ahead of this story, the company just allowed itself to take another black eye.

Go deeper:

2. What you missed

A Trump impersonator sits behind the Oval Office at the photocall book launch of 'The President is Missing', a novel by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. Photo: Amer Ghazzal/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

  1. President Trump claimed this morning that he has "the absolute right to PARDON" himself, but added "why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?" What experts say.
  2. Supreme Court moves: The court narrowly ruled in favor of a Christian baker over a same-sex couple, and threw out a case over whether an undocumented woman could have an abortion.
  3. The next iOS: FaceTime will have group video chat with up to 32 participants, new settings in iOS 12 will help with notifications and help people manage “screen time” and Apple says apps will launch 40% faster, with better keyboard and camera performance. The new bells and whistles.
  4. The volcanic eruption from Guatemala's Fuego volcano has killed at least 62 after a late-Sunday eruption sent ash across the region. Photos and videos.
  5. Theresa May told Trump today that the tariffs on EU steel and aluminum are "unjustified" and "deeply disappointing." Go deeper.
3. 1 must-watch thing

Bill Clinton was confronted on #MeToo and Monica Lewinsky: The former president told NBC News' "Today" that he believes he did "the right thing" during the Lewinsky scandal, saying he hasn't personally apologized to her.

The interview is worthy of your time.

Mike Allen