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Genome hackers show no one’s DNA is anonymous anymore • WIRED
Megan Molteni:
<p>the amount of DNA information housed in digital data stores has exploded, with no signs of slowing down. Consumer companies like 23andMe and Ancestry have so far created genetic profiles for more than 12 million people, according to recent industry estimates. Customers who download their own information can then choose to add it to public genealogy websites like GEDmatch, which gained national notoriety earlier this year for its role in leading police to a suspect in the Golden State Killer case.

Those interlocking family trees, connecting people through bits of DNA, have now grown so big that they can be used to find more than half the US population. In fact, according to new research led by Erlich, <a href="">published in Science</a>, more than 60% of Americans with European ancestry can be identified through their DNA using open genetic genealogy databases, regardless of whether they’ve ever sent in a spit kit.

“The takeaway is it doesn’t matter if you’ve been tested or not tested,” says Erlich, who is now the chief science officer at MyHeritage, the third largest consumer genetic provider behind 23andMe and Ancestry. “You can be identified because the databases already cover such large fractions of the US, at least for European ancestry.”</p>

Give it a few more years and governments trying to track people (spies? Murderous assassins?) down will publish DNA taken from the scene and, little sigh, say that they don't seem to have any more leads and leave it to open source journalists.
privacy  dna  computing 
1 hour ago by charlesarthur
One Small Step for the Web... — Inrupt
Solid is a platform, built using the existing web. It gives every user a choice about where data is stored, which specific people and groups can access select elements, and which apps you use. It allows you, your family and colleagues, to link and share data with anyone. It allows people to look at the same data with different apps at the same time.
by:TimBernersLee  web  data  privacy  data_sharing  solid 
1 hour ago by csantos
I’m an Amazon employee. My company shouldn’t sell facial recognition tech to police • Medium
It's a great year for important anonymous letters to publications about what's going on inside well-known but often impenetrable organisations:
<p>When a company puts new technologies into the world, it has a responsibility to think about the consequences. Amazon, where I work, is currently allowing police departments around the country to purchase its facial recognition product, Rekognition, and I and other employees demand that we stop immediately.

A couple weeks ago, my co-workers delivered a letter to this effect, signed by over 450 employees, to Jeff Bezos and other executives. The letter also contained demands to kick Palantir, the software firm that powers much of ICE’s deportation and tracking program, off Amazon Web Services and to institute employee oversight for ethical decisions.

We know Bezos is aware of these concerns and the industry-wide conversation happening right now. On stage, he acknowledged that big tech’s products might be misused, even exploited, by autocrats. But rather than meaningfully explain how Amazon will act to prevent the bad uses of its own technology, Bezos suggested we wait for society’s “immune response.”

If Amazon waits, we think the harm will be difficult to undo.

After all, our concern isn’t one about some future harm caused by some other company: Amazon is designing, marketing, and selling a system for dangerous mass surveillance right now…

…We know from history that new and powerful surveillance tools left unchecked in the hands of the state have been used to target people who have done nothing wrong; in the United States, a lack of public accountability already results in outsized impacts and over-policing of communities of color, immigrants, and people exercising their First Amendment rights. Ignoring these urgent concerns while deploying powerful technologies to government and law enforcement agencies is dangerous and irresponsible.</p>

There's also <a href="">an interview with the article writer</a>.
amazon  privacy  police 
1 hour ago by charlesarthur
Apple data export
Big step for data transparency and portability
apple  export  data  privacy  goodtech 
2 hours ago by nelson
‘Do Not Track’ Privacy Tool Doesn’t Do Anything
“Do Not Track,” as it was first imagined a decade ago by consumer advocates, was going to be a “Do Not Call” list for the internet, helping to free people from annoying targeted ads and creepy data collection. But only a handful of sites respect the request, the most prominent of which are Pinterest and Medium. (Pinterest won’t use offsite data to target ads to a visitor who’s elected not to be tracked, while Medium won’t send their data to third parties.) The vast majority of sites, including this one, ignore it.
privacy  donottrack 
2 hours ago by twwoodward
Trump supporters as marketing list
Voter and donator lists are never used for commercial marketing. Until now.
trump  politics  voterfile  privacy  marketing  ads 
2 hours ago by nelson
How Employers Track Their Workers - The Atlantic
for the no.fucking.shit file:

In general, studies of surveillance suggest that it can increase workplace stress, promote worker alienation, lower job satisfaction, and convey the perception that the quantity of work one generates is more important than its quality. In an analysis aptly titled “Watching Me Watching You,” the British anthropologists Michael Fischer and Sally Applin conclude that workplace surveillance creates “a culture where … people more often alter their behavior to suit machines and work with them, rather than the other way around,” and that this tends to erode their sense of “agency.” That is, the constant surveillance of employees diminishes their capacity to operate as independent thinkers and actors.
surveillance.capitalism  corporate.surveillance  privacy  management  labor  inelasticity  time  no.fucking.shit 
3 hours ago by po
Amazon's Echo May Be Able to Read Your Emotions - The Atlantic
Alexa Wants to Know How You’re Feeling Today

Amazon has patented technology that would allow its devices to read your emotional and physical state, and sell advertisements based on them. Are we entering the era of the mood-targeted ad?
internetofthings  computing  advertising  personalization  emotions  privacy  atlantic  amazon 
3 hours ago by jorgebarba

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