Data privacy

The big picture

Tech's deepening split over ads and privacy
Tech's deepening split over ads and privacy

A new conflict between Apple and Facebook is spotlighting privacy concerns that stem from online advertising.

Aug 27, 2020 - Technology
EU-U.S. privacy rift leaves businesses in disarray

Thousands of firms are scrambling to figure out how to get data over from Europe without exposing themselves to legal risks.

Aug 12, 2020 - Technology
What companies know about you

An Axios series on what information different companies have on you.

Feb 3, 2020 - Technology
Deep Dive: The end of anonymity

Data that might once have gone unnoticed can now be detected, analyzed and logged in real time.

Sep 7, 2019 - Technology
Cities are the new data guzzlers

A smart city can vacuum up details like your location or daily habits.

Jun 29, 2019 - Technology
Deep Dive: Inside the mass invasion of your privacy

Our lackadaisical approach to safeguarding data has made a handful of companies extremely powerful.

Updated Mar 9, 2019 - Technology

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2 hours ago - Technology

Google adopts a new cookie replacement following privacy concerns

Photo: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google Tuesday said it's changing its plan for replacing the cookies that help advertisers target users to a new system called Topics, in which advertisers will place ads via a limited number of topics determined by users' browser activity.

Why it matters: The new Topics proposal replaces Google's previously-announced plan called FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), which was criticized by privacy advocates who worried the new ad-targeting solution would inadvertently make it easier for advertisers to gather user information.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 24, 2022 - Technology

IRS face recognition program raises hackles

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The IRS' move to require some taxpayers to use facial recognition to identify themselves is reigniting a debate over how the government should use such technology.

Why it matters: Critics warn that, without sufficient guardrails, information collected by one agency for a seemingly benign purpose could easily be re-used in other ways.

Ad lobby launches campaign to defend targeted ads amid D.C. crackdown

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on Wednesday launched a new campaign called "Internet for Growth" that aims to spotlight stories of small businesses which rely on advertising-supported internet platforms.

Why it matters: The push comes amid heightened scrutiny over targeted advertising by D.C. policymakers.

The state tech policy battles that will rage in 2022

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

States will ramp up the momentum they've built in tackling key tech policy priorities through 2022, speeding ahead of any potential federal legislation.

Why it matters: As Congress continues to make little tangible progress passing new rules for the tech industry, state legislatures have taken the lead in enacting new tech regulations.

Dec 22, 2021 - Technology

Exclusive poll: Americans want government action on tech

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Data: Axios/Illinois Tech/YouGov; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Big majorities of Americans think tech companies are too big and too nosy and want government to rein them in, an exclusive poll by Axios and the Illinois Institute of Technology finds.

Why it matters: As technology's role in American life increases, people on both sides of today's political divide have grown wary of its influence.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Dec 20, 2021 - Technology

Exclusive: Meta shareholders call for oversight audit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A group of Meta shareholders, along with the Campaign for Accountability, has submitted a resolution calling for an independent evaluation of the board's ability to oversee public safety on Facebook's platforms, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Facebook's parent company is facing pressure on multiple fronts from regulators, legislators and former employees — and now investors.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Dec 16, 2021 - Technology

Policing Project audit of Ring doorbells prompts changes

Photo: Ring

Ring, the Amazon-owned doorbell and security camera device, now works with 2,000 police departments across the country. But the footage downloaded by those agencies is less than one might expect, according to a new audit from New York University's Policing Project.

Why it matters: The company has come under fire for a number of practices including its privacy policies, economic relationships with police agencies and its role in helping create and grow the surveillance state.

Dec 1, 2021 - Technology

Lawmakers bring back Facebook whistleblower for encore

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen speaks in front of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee at the European Parliament on November 8, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen returns to Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on proposals to revamp online platforms' liability immunity.

Why it matters: Haugen, a former Facebook engineer, has shared troves of internal research documents that lawmakers believe could open a path for legislation overhauling Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, tech's liability shield.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Updated Nov 25, 2021 - Technology

Congress decimates 911's digital upgrade

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public safety officials fear the nation's 911 centers will continue to languish in the analog era, after Democrats slashed proposed funding for a digital makeover in their social spending bill.

Why it matters: The potentially life-saving ability for people to send texts, pictures or videos to 911 centers, and for centers to seamlessly share data with each other, remains out of reach for many of the country’s 6,000 centers.

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