Personal information is the currency on which much of the internet depends. It's gathered everywhere, often without people's knowledge, and it effectively pays the bills on many free services and apps we take for granted. Depending on how radical you are, you could see this as a fair trade in exchange for services—or as companies extracting free labor from the internet-using populace. The Scope of the Problem Understanding this ecosystem is difficult, but removing yourself from it is even harder. For starters, years' worth of your information is already in the possession of numerous legal data-broker sites. In the course of writing this longer feature about how companies turn your data into money, I looked at and purchased information from several data brokers. I then took stock of the sheer bulk of information I had knowingly and unknowingly provided to social-media services. It's staggering. That's not even considering the volume of my personal data that is invisible to the … [Read more...] about Online Data Protection 101: Don’t Let Big Tech Get Rich Off Your Info
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A new academic report examining a deal between Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has said that the US tech giant made “inexcusable” errors in terms of transparency and oversight when handling sensitive medical information. The data-sharing agreement — which was signed in 2015 and has since been superseded by a new contract — allows DeepMind access to medical records from 1.6 million patients attending London hospitals run by the NHS Royal Free Trust. Although at the time Google presented the deal as primarily about finding patients at risk from a condition known as acute kidney injury or AKI, the actual terms of the agreement, revealed in April 2016 by a New Scientist investigation, were more broad. The report notes that DeepMind was given access not only to relevant blood tests and diagnostics, but historical medical records dating back five years, including information on HIV diagnoses, drug overdoses, and … [Read more...] about Google’s DeepMind made ‘inexcusable’ errors handling UK health data, says report
With only six weeks to go before launch, Super Mario Maker 2's new and updated features have mostly emerged thanks to tiny teases. That changed on Wednesday with a whopper of a Nintendo news video that revealed, among other things, the series' first-ever online-versus mode—and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the series' first online-subscription requirement for some of its content. The game will launch on June 28 at a standard $60 retail price, though Nintendo will also sell Super Mario Maker 2 as a $70 bundle with a 12-month Nintendo Switch Online subscription code. If you're already a paying NSO member, that code will stack on top of however many months you've already purchased (currently $4/mo or $20 for a 12-month subscription). That bundle will hit store shelves for good reason, as Nintendo will gate much of the original Wii U game's content behind a paid-online requirement—including the ability to upload custom-made levels and to search for and download other users' … [Read more...] about news dump: Finally, Mario gets an online-versus mode
Sure, Google knows a lot. But imagine the company one day indexing your personal health records. It's starting to happen for patients at Ascension, the largest Catholic healthcare system in the US. On Monday, the nonprofit announced a partnership with Google to run Ascension's IT healthcare systems over the company's cloud computing services. However, the partnership was announced hours before The Wall Street Journal published a story on how Google and Ascension have been allegedly working on the project in secret since last year —without notifying patients or doctors. The main takeaway: the tech giant has already been processing the health records for tens of millions of patients, including their lab results, doctor diagnoses, along with patient names and dates of birth. "It (Ascension) also hopes to mine data to order up more tests or determine where it might be able to make more money from an individual patient, documents show," The Journal reports. The story has been setting … [Read more...] about Is Google Snooping on Your Health Records?
Walmart To Go, the retailer’s on-demand shopping service offering home delivery of general merchandise, including in some cases, groceries, is expanding its test in the Denver market today to also include a local pick-up option. Denver area customers will now be able to order their groceries online, then pick up at a nearby store – without having to set foot inside the store. Instead, customers will pull up to a designated pick-up spot on the side of the store, as directed. Or, in the case of those stores where a drive-through pharmacy is available, they’ll pick up their groceries from the pharmacy window. Depending on the location, they’ll either dial a phone number or enter an order into a touchscreen kiosk to let Walmart staff know they’ve arrived. Then it’s only a matter of popping the trunk. To get started, customers will first place their orders online, and Walmart will call them directly when the order is ready. The idea is that you could … [Read more...] about Walmart Begins Testing Online Grocery Shopping With Local Store Pickup Option In Denver