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DNA Data From California Newborn Blood Samples Stored, Sold To 3rd Parties ( 187

schwit1 writes: "This might come as a surprise to California natives in their 20s and early 30s: The state owns your DNA. Every year about four million newborns in the U.S. get a heel prick at birth, to screen for congenital disorders, that if found early enough, can save their life." However, when those tests are done, the leftover blood isn't simply thrown away. Instead, they're taken to an office building and the DNA data is stored in a database. "It’s a treasure trove of information about you, from the color of your eyes and hair to your pre-disposition to diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer." And that's not the end of it: "The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is not the only agency using the blood spots. Law enforcement can request them. Private companies can buy them to do research – without your consent."

DNA-Based Advertising Redefines Commercial "Ad-Targeting" 31

An anonymous reader writes: Hidden among the customary disclaimers about how the website intends to use the information it holds about you, states that it reserves the right to leverage the genotyping tests of users (who have contributed their DNA to AncestryDNA research) in order to serve back 'relevant' advertising via the site. Critics of the clause believe that the site's promise to delete a user's genome on request is devalued both by the possibility of data breaches and by the fact that data brokers and other third parties are both unlikely to honor (or even know about) removal requests, and are likely to improve at leveraging genetic information in the future.

China Unveils World's First Facial Recognition ATM 129

An anonymous reader links to an article at IB Times according to which: China has unveiled the world's first facial recognition ATM, which will not allow users to withdraw cash unless their face matches their IDs. The machine was created by Tsinghua University and Hangzhou-based technology company Tzekwan. It has a camera installed in it that captures the facial features of the user then compares it with a database of identification photos.

Twitter Boots Critic of NBC For Tweeting Exec's Email Address 104

netbuzz writes "Guy Adams, a Los Angeles-based correspondent for The Independent of London, had his Twitter account suspended today, allegedly for having violated a Twitter privacy policy when he tweeted the workplace email address of an NBC Sports executive. The Internet is abuzz with accusations – no make that assumptions – that Twitter muzzled Adams because Adams was tweeting up a storm of protest over NBC's coverage of the Games. However, Twitter says it was because it prohibits the tweeting of 'non-public, personal email addresses.' Whether Adams did that or not appears debatable." Update: 07/31 17:48 GMT by S : Adams's Twitter account has been reinstated.

One Sci-Fi Author Wrote 29 of the Kindle's 100 Most-Highlighted Passages 239

An anonymous reader writes "Today Amazon announced that a science fiction writer has become the Kindle's all-time best-selling author. Last June Suzanne Collins, who wrote the Hunger Games trilogy, was only the fourth author to sell one million ebooks, but this month Amazon announced she'd overtaken all her competition (and she also wrote the #1 and #2 best-selling ebooks this Christmas). In fact, 29 of the 100 most-highlighted passages on the Kindle were written by Collins, including 7 of the top 10. And on a separate list of recent highlights, Collins has written 17 of the top 20 most-highlighted passages." It's pretty interesting to go through the top-100 list and look at the passages people think are worth highlighting. Taken out of context, many of them could be patched together and re-sold as a self-help book. None are quite so eloquent as #18 in the recent highlights.

Seeing Through Walls 163

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at MIT's Lincoln Lab have developed new radar technology that provides real-time video of what's going on behind solid walls. 'The researchers’ device is an unassuming array of antenna arranged into two rows — eight receiving elements on top, 13 transmitting ones below — and some computing equipment, all mounted onto a movable cart. But it has powerful implications for military operations, especially "urban combat situations," says Gregory Charvat, technical staff at Lincoln Lab and the leader of the project.' ... each time the waves hit the wall, the concrete blocks more than 99 percent of them from passing through. And that’s only half the battle: Once the waves bounce off any targets, they must pass back through the wall to reach the radar’s receivers — and again, 99 percent don’t make it. By the time it hits the receivers, the signal is reduced to about 0.0025 percent of its original strength. But according to Charvat, signal loss from the wall is not even the main challenge. "[Signal] amplifiers are cheap," he says. What has been difficult for through-wall radar systems is achieving the speed, resolution and range necessary to be useful in real time (PDF).'"

Apple Wants To Store Your History In the Cloud 99

bizwriter writes "Most online backup is about keeping the latest and greatest version of what resides on a device, whether a PC, tablet, or smartphone. Three recent patent filings suggest that Apple has a super version of backup on its mind. Someone would be able to go into an application (like iTunes or the App Store), find what material was available at a previous time, and recover any or all of what once was there without having to use a separate recovery program."

Anniston, Alabama To Censor Employees' Facebook Pages 338

ISurfTooMuch writes "If you're a city employee in Anniston, AL, you'd better watch what you say on Facebook. Under a proposal being considered by the City Council, employees would be banned from posting anything 'negative' or 'embarrassing' about the city. Note that they aren't talking about official city pages here, but employees' personal pages. Anyone care to educate these clowns on the existence of the First Amendment?"
The Courts

Netflix Prize Sequel Cancelled Over Privacy Concerns 65

An anonymous reader writes "Netflix just announced that they have cancelled the sequel to the Netflix Prize, which was promised last year. Netflix made the choice after they were sued over privacy concerns. The prize involves releasing large amounts of data about users' movie preferences, which raised concerns from the Federal Trade Commission and a lawsuit from KamberLaw LLC. Netflix's Neil Hunt said, 'We have reached an understanding with the FTC and have settled the lawsuit with plaintiffs. The resolution to both matters involves certain parameters for how we use Netflix data in any future research programs.'"

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]