By B.N. Frank
Anyone concerned about their privacy and that of their loved ones may be interested in two related CBS “60 Minutes” segments aired earlier week. The first revealed the risks of Chinese companies having access to Americans’ health care information, DNA, and other private data.
The second reveals serious risks associated with home genealogy tests from Ancestry.com, 23andMe, and other companies.
From CBS 60 Minutes:
Companies and foreign countries vying for your DNA
In the world of biotech, data is the new oil. That means the DNA you provide for a gene-alogy test could be shared in a market worth trillions. Jon Wertheim reports.
The financial stakes for dominating the global biotech sector — the industry that’s bringing us the COVID vaccine — are staggering, estimated to be worth up to $4 trillion a year. For perspective, that’s more than the valuation of Amazon and Apple combined. Not surprisingly, many U.S. companies want a piece of that pie and recognize that control over the future of health care lies in collecting and then analyzing massive quantities of data. So, like China, they too are building up vast libraries of health information. There are undeniable benefits to this — potential cures and treatments, some already in use. But there’s also a darker truth buried in the fine print: companies, including some of the ones that sell those popular genealogy test kits, could profit off of consumers and their private medical data.
Bill Evanina: Sometimes Americans or people around the globe don’t even know the value of their DNA, that– that it even has value. But it’s your single, sole identifier of everything about you as a human being.
If you’re concerned about your privacy and that of your loved ones, experts have actually been warning for many years about privacy and cybersecurity risks associated with ALL “Smart” and wireless technology. If you’re living in a “Smart” home – you’ve undoubtedly made yourself and your family extremely vulnerable. Of course, by themselves, “Smart” appliances and devices are also extremely invasive – “Smart” light bulbs, “Smart” TVs, Google Nest, Alexa, “Smart” security systems, and everything that uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology (see 1, 2). Researchers have proposed product warning labels that would make it easier for consumers to understand these risks. However, until labels are required, manufacturers probably won’t offer them. After all, they are collecting personal data about you and your loved ones through their products in order to analyze it and advertise more stuff to you as well as possibly sell it to 3rd parties. This is sometimes referred to as “Surveillance Capitalism.” Hence, data being the “New Oil.”
Activist Post Recommended Book: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
Additional “Smart” and wireless products susceptible to privacy and cybersecurity risks 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). Also noteworthy, exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation emissions (aka “Electrosmog”) from all of the above have health and environmental risks associated with them as well (see 1, 2, 3, 4) including for pets.
Of course, if you’re not concerned about any of this, why worry about it.
Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives.
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