CBS 60 Minutes on China’s Efforts to Control Americans’ Health Care — “Data is the New Oil”

By B.N. Frank

Anyone concerned about their privacy and that of their loved ones may be interested in this recent CBS “60 Minutes” segment.  Noted in this segment as well as by other past media coverage (see 1, 2), controversial 5G technology, facial recognition software, Internet of Things (IoT), and other forms of surveillance tech is already being used by the Chinese government to collect personal data on and control its own citizens, particularly Chinese Muslims.  Experts reveal what it could mean for Americans if Chinese companies succeed in their efforts to collect more of our data – health care, DNA, and everything else.

From CBS 60 Minutes:

China’s push to control Americans’ health care future

U.S. officials say the Chinese government is trying to collect Americans’ DNA, and they believe a recent offer from a Chinese company for assistance in COVID-19 testing was suspicious. Jon Wertheim reports.

For all the polarization that grips Washington, here’s a source of rare consensus: the emerging threat of China’s push to acquire our health care data, including the DNA of American citizens. U.S. officials tell us the communist regime’s aggressive collection of our most personal information presents a danger both to national security and our economy. As alarm bells ring across agencies, parties, and presidential administrations, different branches of government have taken action over the past year to stem the tide of our medical data flowing to China. The quest to control our biodata – and, in turn, control health care’s future – has become the new space race, with more than national pride in the balance. Our investigation begins with an unsolicited and surprising proposal that came from overseas at the onset of the COVID crisis.

Early last March, the state of Washington was the site of the first major coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. As COVID rates and the need for tests were spiking, BGI Group, the world’s largest biotech firm – a global giant based in Chinaapproached the state of Washington with an enticing offer

In a strikingly personal letter to the governor, BGI proposed to build and help run state-of-the-art COVID testing labs. BGI would quote “provide technical expertise,” provide “high throughput sequencers” and even “make additional donations.”

It seemed like an offer the state couldn’t refuse, especially given the desperate need. But officials were suspicious about BGI and its connections to the Chinese government.

Read full report

Also noteworthy – privacy and security experts have been warning for many years about serious risks associated with ALL “Smart” and wireless tech including “Smart” home technology, “Smart” light bulbs, “Smart” TVs, Alexa, Google Nest, and everything that uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology (see 1, 2).  Last month, researchers proposed product warning labels that would make it easier for consumers to understand these risks.  Of course, manufacturers may not necessarily want to tip off customers that they’re collecting personal data on them to analyze and sell to 3rd parties.  This is sometimes referred to as “Surveillance Capitalism.”

OMG!  Data really is the new oil!

Additional “Smart” and wireless products susceptible to privacy and cybersecurity vulnerabilities include cell phones (see 1, 2, 3), medical devices and implants (see 1, 2), utility “Smart” meters (electric, gas, and water), and wearables (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6),

Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives.

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