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Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

All eyes (and tweets) were on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation vote and hearings this week. Still, the tech industry managed to provide plenty of important news.

Catch up quick: The big news was the Facebook network breach, but other important developments got less attention. The major tech and telecom companies met with the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday; Google's CEO will testify before the House on bias accusations; kids are already outsmarting parental iPhone time limits on iOS 12; and a report says a voting machine used in half of U.S. is vulnerable to attack.

Major tech and telecom companies met with the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday

Why it matters: Companies including Google, Apple and AT&T expressed reservations about particularly strong steps lawmakers could take to ensure user data privacy. The companies are drawing lines in the sand for lawmakers who are under pressure to produce something, thanks to new privacy rules in Europe and a California privacy law that will go into effect in 2020.

Google CEO will testify before House on bias accusations

Why it matters: Google came under fire from members of both parties and from Google employees for not sending a top executive to join Twitter and Facebook at a recent Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. Though Google CEO Sundar Pichai adamantly denies bias in the algorithm, he agreed to answer questions some time after the midterm elections.

Kids are already outsmarting parental iPhone time limits on iOS 12

Why it matters: Yes, children are good at finding loopholes. But the flaw also leads back to the original argument for implementing time limits — it won't work unless users are actually willing to cut back on screen time.

Report: voting machine used in half of U.S. is vulnerable to attack

Why it matters: Election security has been a high-priority concern over the last two years, especially as we head to the midterms. Still, according to a new report, a voting machine used in more than half of the states is vulnerable, and "senior intelligence officials have described Russian efforts to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections as deep, real and ongoing," per the Wall Street Journal.

Go deeper

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

2 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.