Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Information about your health is quickly becoming a bigger part of Silicon Valley’s targeted-marketing apparatus.

How it works: Data mined from "smart thermometers" helped Clorox target ads for its disinfectant wipes during flu season, the New York Times reports.

  • Clorox partnered with Kinsa, which sells thermometers that sync with users’ smartphones. Kinda has raised about $29 million in venture funding, per the NYT.
  • When the thermometer data showed that lot of people in one area had fevers, Clorox targeted its ads to those zip codes.

“The challenge with Google search or social media or mining any of those applications is you’re taking a proxy signal — you’re taking someone talking about illness rather than actual illness,” Kinsa founder and CEO Inder Singh told the Times.

Amazon also appears to be moving in a similar direction, reportedly patenting technology that would allow Alexa to tell when you’re sick and offer to order cough drops for you off of Amazon.

There are also more direct therapeutic uses. In addition to its marketing data, Kinsa has a partnership with telemedicine firm Teladoc that allows users who use both products to transfer data between the two.

  • "If you have a newborn who has a fever, you need to see the doctor right away and if it’s 3 a.m., I’m very happy to present you the option to talk to a telemedicine doctor,” Singh said.

Go deeper

The apocalypse scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

Federal judge rules Trump administration can't end census early

Census workers outside Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration could not end the 2020 census a month early.

Why it matters: The decision states that an early end — on Sept. 30, instead of Oct. 31 — would likely produce inaccuracies and thus impact political representation and government funding around the country.

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Where bringing students back to school is most risky

Data: Coders Against COVID; Note: Rhode Island and Puerto Rico did not meet minimum testing thresholds for analysis. Values may not add to 100% due to rounding; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Schools in Southern and Midwestern states are most at risk of coronavirus transmission, according to an analysis by Coders Against COVID that uses risk indicators developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Thankfully, schools have not yet become coronavirus hotspots, the Washington Post reported this week, and rates of infection are lower than in the surrounding communities. But that doesn't mean schools are in the clear, especially heading into winter.

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