Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

It's an open question whether all the talk of a backlash against Big Tech leads to any meaningful change in how the tech giants operate. With midterms coming up, there's little chance of new legislation, and historically privacy scandals tend to lead to lots of intense outrage but not systemic change.

Yes, but: The anger is real and, especially if Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders perform poorly in coming hearings, there certainly could be a push for legislation, even if it ends up being narrowly tailored. And this is an area of rare bipartisanship, as the tech giants now have critics on both the far right and far left.

Worth noting: It's not just Congress with the power to do something.

  • Key states could pass laws that would likely become the norm nationwide, just because it is too hard to adjust for 50 different legal regimes.
  • Federal agencies could weigh in. The FTC is already conducting a non-public look into whether Facebook violated a consent decree.
  • Europe's sweeping new privacy law (GDPR) could start to be seen as a template of sorts for future U.S. privacy laws. Global companies will already have to comply starting in May.

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Zeta, now a Category 2 Hurricane, makes landfall on Louisiana coast

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Zeta, classified as a "significant" Category 2 hurricane, made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana on Wednesday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Emergency Declaration in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday. The hurricane is producing 110-mph maximum sustained winds and stronger gusts. The core of Zeta — including its destructive eyewall — moved ashore near Cocodrie.

Supreme Court won't expedite Pennsylvania GOP's request to block mail-in ballot extension

Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images

The Supreme Court voted 5-3 on Wednesday to deny a bid from Pennsylvania Republicans to expedite their request to shorten the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots. Newly-confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the decision.

Why it matters: A lower court ruling allowing ballots to be counted until 5 p.m. on Nov. 6, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, will remain in place for now.

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The coronavirus is still winning: Now even Germany is entering another national lockdown, joined by France.

Why it matters: France has been "overpowered by a second wave,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a nationally televised address today. Macron said the "new wave will be stronger and deadlier" than the first.