Big data

Brains are the last frontier of privacy

Illustration of a brain wrapped up in a lock and chains.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Brain–computer interfaces, once used exclusively for clinical research, are now under development at several wealthy startups and a major tech company, and rudimentary versions are already popping up in online stores.

Why it matters: If users unlock the information inside their heads and give companies and governments access, they're inviting privacy risks far greater than today's worries over social media data, experts say — and raising the specter of discrimination based on what goes on inside a person's head.

U.S. consumers remain historically confident

Data: The Conference Board and University of Michigan; Chart: Axios Visuals

The continued bright spot in global economic data has been the solid state of U.S. consumers. Unemployment is low, and consumers are confident and continue to spend freely, providing a major buoy for the rest of the economy.

What they're saying: "Trade, as important as it is, and as many headlines as it engenders, is 3-4% of GDP. Personal consumption is closer to 70% of GDP. And as long as the labor market is strong, wages are OK, and we’re in a non-inflationary environment, the consumer keeps spending," Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, says in an email.