e dot dot dot
a mostly about the Internet blog by

June 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
       
 


Techdirt Podcast Episode 126: Talking Freedom Of Information With A 'FOIA Terrorist'

Furnished content.


We've made FOIA requests several times over the years, with varying results — but there are others out there who have dedicated their careers to understanding and using the FOIA process. One such person is Jason Leopold, a Buzzfeed reporter and FOIA litigator who was dubbed a "FOIA terrorist" by the government. He joins us this week on the podcast to discuss the ins and outs of Freedom Of Information.Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.


Permalink | Comments | Email This Story


Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 14-Jun-2017
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



Cheap DNA Testing Is Giving Some Insurers Even More Ways To Deny Coverage

Furnished content.


Joel Winston -- current consumer protection lawyer and former New Jersey attorney general -- is offering up the periodic reminder that terms of service are rarely written with the user's best interests in mind. Winston highlights the demands Ancestry.com makes in exchange for using its paid service. Two-thirds of those highlighted are standard operating procedure for far too many services. [h/t War on Privacy]The first is the perpetual license users grant Ancestry.com for exploitation of their DNA data. Again, this sort of thing can be found at many services heavily-reliant on users' contributions. And many of those not only want your money, but the opportunity to sell off data as well.

Specifically, by submitting DNA to AncestryDNA, you agree to “grant AncestryDNA and the Ancestry Group Companies a perpetual, royalty-free, world-wide, transferable license to use your DNA, and any DNA you submit for any person from whom you obtained legal authorization as described in this Agreement, and to use, host, sublicense and distribute the resulting analysis to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered.”
It's not particularly heinous. (Yes, I'm damning it with faint damnation.) But it's no better than countless other services, and this one deals with DNA, which is arguably more personal than, say, tweets... or coarse demographic info. It would be nice to know this up front. Ancestry.com can claim it does inform users of this, but it's part of a lengthy Terms and Conditions which contains enough dense language and boilerplate legalese to deter all but the most detail-oriented from reading it all the way through.Opting out is, of course, much more difficult. As Winston notes, several hoops must be jumped through to pull your DNA out of this broad "agreement." It also takes the company 30 days to handle users' requests, and it doesn't affect any studies, etc. the company has already supplied with your DNA data. It also may involve phone calls, which is super fun in the age of digital communications that leave a better, more easily-verifiable paper trail.On top of that, there's the arbitration clause, which will ensure users have as little leverage as possible should they be unhappy with Ancestry's services or handling of DNA data. This, too, is sadly a part of too many terms of service agreements. Arbitration forces users to play on the company's playground, rather than the more neutral field created by filing a civil complaint. This sucks, but once again, it's nothing that's unique to Ancestry.com.What's most disturbing about Ancestry's growing DNA collection is something Glyn Moody highlighted here a couple of years ago.
According to an article on Fusion.net, Ancestry now has over 800,000 samples, while 23andMe has a million customers (Ancestry says that a more up-to-date figure is 1.2 million members in its database). Those are significant holdings, and it's only natural that the police would try to use them to solve crimes; both companies confirm that they will turn over information from their databases to law enforcement agencies if served with a suitable court order.
Customers' DNA info -- processed by Ancestry.com -- becomes nothing more than a third-party record. The company says it only complies with court orders, but there's a lack of specificity in that statement. A court order may be nothing more than a subpoena, rather than a search warrant. Third-party records have a lowered expectation of privacy, which means warrants aren't a necessity.What makes this even more problematic is the company's willingness to hand over "familial" DNA -- in other words, DNA that isn't necessarily yours but comes from the same gene pool. Mixing this together raises the chance of false positives, which is never a good thing when someone's freedom is on the line.And it's not just limited to police snooping. Ancestry is making this information available to private parties (see the perpetual license above), which could have adverse effects on people who've never used the service.
Buried in the “Informed Consent” section, which is incorporated into the Terms of Service, Ancestry.com warns customers, “it is possible that information about you or a genetic relative could be revealed, such as that you or a relative are carriers of a particular disease. That information could be used by insurers to deny you insurance coverage, by law enforcement agencies to identify you or your relatives, and in some places, the data could be used by employers to deny employment.”This is a massive red flag. The data “you or a genetic relative” give to AncestryDNA could be used against “you or a genetic relative” by employers, insurers, and law enforcement.
The damage being done isn't theoretical. Glyn Moody's piece dealt with a man who became a suspect in a 20-year-old murder thanks to his father's DNA data (obtained by law enforcement from privately-held genetic databases). Winston's piece also covers the law enforcement aspects of Ancestry's license/sharing. But as the terms warn, insurers and employers could decide they want nothing to do with you, thanks to your familial DNA.
For example, a young woman named Theresa Morelli applied for individual disability insurance, consented to release of her medical records through the Medical Information Bureau (a credit reporting agency for medical history), and was approved for coverage. One month later, Ms. Morelli’s coverage was cancelled and premiums refunded when the insurer learned her father had Huntington’s disease, a genetic illness.Startlingly, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) used Morelli’s broad consent to query her father’s physician, a doctor with whom she had no prior patient relationship. More importantly, the applicant herself wasn’t diagnosed with Huntington’s carrier status, but she suffered exclusion on the basis of a genetic predisposition in her family.
Health care insurers are forbidden by federal law from using DNA data to deny coverage, but as Winston points out, nothing prohibits other insurers (life, long-term disability, etc.) from using this to decline coverage. And there's nothing at all in the law preventing employers from using DNA data to screen out potential employees who might be a net loss on company-provided insurance plans.The upside is a $99 DNA test, something that used to be prohibitively expensive. The downside… well, it's pretty much everything else. In exchange for cheap testing, customers have to give up nearly everything. They can't easily stop the sharing of data, have limited ability to challenge information demands by law enforcement, and zero chance to fully control the use of data you've handed over to Ancestry.com. Information about how your DNA data is being used isn't easily obtained and anything insurers and employers are doing with this information is almost completely opaque. And, if you don't like it -- or feel Ancestry has managed to overstep the broad powers granted to it by its users -- you're stuck with arbitration as your only recourse.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story


Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 08-Jun-2017
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



Food & Beverage Ads: The Big, Bold Flavor on Mobile

Furnished content.


With the exponential growth of food-driven content like Buzzfeed's Tasty, Tastemade and now Well Done from Time Inc., food content is everywhere on mobile devices. So it will come as no surprise that 42% of all ads run in Q1 2017 via Positive Mobile's In-Feed Mobile Video Ads were food & beverage advertisers (including restaurants). [...]

Read more here


posted at: 12:00am on 31-May-2017
path: /Online_Marketing | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



eSports Gets An Introduction To Major College Sports At The University Of Utah

Furnished content.


We've been following the evolutionary milestones for eSports for some time now. What was once an event class considered equal parts fringe and foreign has made impressive strides towards the mainstream in mere years. It started with a small university granting scholarships for eAthletes, progressed into the realm of coverage on sports broadcasting giant ESPN, and made yet another leap with an eSports section of the pie being carved out by the NBA.Not all progress towards the mainstream needs to be of a new type, of course, and eSports reached another milestone harkening back to its first, with the announcement that the University of Utah, a member of the Pac-12 Conference, has started its own varsity eSports program.

The University of Utah has announced a varsity esports program, starting with League of Legends. Part of the Pac-12 Conference, Utah is the first Power Five school to sponsor this type of program, and it doesn’t plan on stopping at one game.The team, sponsored by the EAE video game development program, hopes to expand to a total of four games, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Students from the current campus esports group Crimson Gaming, as well as high school recruits, will be part of the team. Players will receive partial scholarships, with an eventual goal of over 30 student-athletes and coaches to be on scholarship.
There will always be arguments about whether eSports are sports in the traditional sense, as well as how good a thing it is that colleges are getting in on this at all, but from a market and industry standpoint the progression is all about interest and advertising dollars. For a school like the University of Utah to invest in this sort of thing, it's likely it required the broadcasting success ESPN has had and the nod to that success that the NBA showed to push this along. And now that eSports has been formally introduced to one school in a Power Five conference, you should absolutely expect many of the other schools to follow suit.The growth at this point may tend towards the exponential. Once the broadcasting and advertising revenues really start to kick in, eSports will be here in a very big way.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story


Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 12-Apr-2017
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



June 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
       
 







RSS (site)  RSS (path)

ATOM (site)  ATOM (path)

Categories
 - blog home

 - Announcements  (2)
 - Annoyances  (0)
 - Career_Advice  (1)
 - Domains  (0)
 - Downloads  (4)
 - Ecommerce  (2369)
 - Fitness  (0)
 - Home_and_Garden  (0)
     - Cooking  (0)
     - Tools  (0)
 - Humor  (1)
 - Notices  (0)
 - Observations  (1)
 - Oddities  (2)
 - Online_Marketing  (3147)
     - Affiliates  (1)
     - Merchants  (1)
 - Policy  (305)
 - Programming  (0)
     - Browsers  (1)
     - DHTML  (0)
     - Javascript  (536)
     - PHP  (0)
     - PayPal  (1)
     - Perl  (38)
          - blosxom  (0)
     - Unidata_Universe  (2)
 - Random_Advice  (1)
 - Reading  (0)
     - Books  (0)
     - Ebooks  (1)
     - Magazines  (0)
     - Online_Articles  (4)
 - Resume_or_CV  (1)
 - Reviews  (1)
 - Rhode_Island_USA  (0)
     - Providence  (1)
 - Shop  (0)
 - Sports  (0)
     - Football  (1)
          - Cowboys  (0)
          - Patriots  (0)
     - Futbol  (1)
          - The_Rest  (0)
          - USA  (1)
 - Woodworking  (1)


Archives
 -2017  June  (2)
 -2017  May  (1)
 -2017  April  (2)
 -2017  March  (2)
 -2017  February  (3)
 -2017  January  (5)
 -2016  November  (1)
 -2016  June  (1)
 -2016  April  (1)
 -2016  March  (1)
 -2016  February  (4)
 -2015  December  (1)


My Sites

 - Millennium3Publishing.com

 - SponsorWorks.net

 - ListBug.com

 - TextEx.net

 - FindAdsHere.com

 - VisitLater.com