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Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo: Apple

To the degree that people are concerned about the amount of data being collected by Big Tech, Apple would seem to be the big beneficiary. It gets its money from selling products (and to a lesser degree content and services) rather than through advertising.

Why now: It's a point CEO Tim Cook has been driving home after Facebook's big privacy lapse, including during an interview on Wednesday with Recode's Kara Swisher, when he said:

"The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that."

Not so fast: As well positioned as Apple is, it faces one big obstacle: Privacy tends to be a very tough sell.

  • Historically, people have gladly traded less privacy in exchange for greater utility and added features. Plus, privacy, like security, is tough to see — we pay attention to it only when it goes away.
  • Also, Apple isn't exactly in the same business as Facebook and Google. The iPhone might get some boost over Android if consumers start paying more attention to privacy. But Apple doesn't compete directly with Facebook or even with most of Google's online services.

Another possible winner: To the degree that consumers do shift toward favoring companies with stronger privacy protections, another potential beneficiary is Microsoft. While it does make money from advertising, its history of regulation has made the company more privacy focused than its rivals.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.