Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking in Brussels this morning as the first tech CEO to keynote the International Conference of Data Protection & Privacy Commissioners, vividly sketches the dark side of what he calls a "data industrial complex."

What he's saying: "Every day, billions of dollars change hands, and countless decisions are made, on the basis of our 'likes' and dislikes. ... These scraps of data — each one harmless enough on its own — are carefully assembled, synthesized, traded, and sold."

  • "Taken to its extreme, this process creates an enduring digital profile that lets companies know you better than you may know yourself. Your profile is then run through algorithms that can serve up increasingly extreme content, pounding our harmless preferences into hardened convictions."

Be smart, from Axios' Ina Fried: Supporters of meaningful privacy regulations can count on Apple's backing, as the company continues to try to stand apart from other tech giants, particularly Google and Facebook.

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Right-wing media defanged by dissolving anti-Biden storylines

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The three biggest anti-Joe Biden storylines in right-wing media over the last year have either fizzled or are getting less online traction than they used to, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: This dynamic has rendered a formidable media ecosystem less effective in boosting President Trump as we move into the heart of the 2020 campaign.

A coronavirus alarm bell is going off in the Midwest

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: Positive rate shown is the 7-day average from June 1 to Aug. 6, 2020; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

A cluster of states in the Midwest are seeing more of their coronavirus tests coming back positive — potentially an early indicator of a growing outbreak.

The state of play: A high positive rate means that a higher share of those getting tested are sick. That could be because there are more sick people, or because a state isn't doing enough testing.

Biden clarifies comments on African American and Latino communities

Joe Biden delivering a speech in Delaware in July. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden explained on Twitter Thursday night what he "meant" by earlier comments suggesting that "the African American community is a monolith."

What they're saying: "Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things," Biden remarked in an interview hosted by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association for Black Journalists, Politico reports.