Happy Fourth! Back on Monday, July 8.
The London based firm blamed “unfairly negative media coverage” and said it has been “vilified” for actions it says both legal and widely accepted as part of online advertising. As most Americans know by now, its actions included the spreading of false news in support of the election of Mr. Trump, and to the denigration of Hilary Clinton’s campaign.
Cambridge Analytica said it has filed papers to begin insolvency proceedings in the U.K. And will seek bankruptcy protection in a federal court in New York. “The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the company’s customers and suppliers.”
“So sad” as Mr. Trump would say.
I am speaking about personal privacy safeguards here, nothing less, nothing more. Perhaps it is just a nationalistic trait that we feel much more at home with letting everybody know our business? At least on Facebook. How many “likes” did you get today? More about quantity than quality? Maybe it’s in the American DNA. Bigger is always better. And maybe becoming more popular with some loss of our own privacy “trumps” everything else? But I digress, sorry.
Interestingly, there may be stronger support in this transition to more privacy coming from America’s traditional business leaders who have always seemed capable of making money under tougher privacy rules. Some companies are also planning to apply some or all of the data protection requirements to all of their customers, not just the Europeans. And other countries have, or are considering adopting similar rules. Throughout history, meatpackers, credit card companies, automakers and other businesses resisted regulations, arguing they would be ruined by them. Yet, regulations have actually benefited many industries by boosting demand for products that consumers know meet certain standards.
Privacy is a protection that we all deserve, wherever we are.
So-called President Trump’s most recent budget proposal for NASA climate science missions would eliminate four climate science missions. In one paragraph in their 53-page budget blueprint, the Trump administration proposed the elimination of instrumentation to study clouds, small airborne particles, the flow of carbon dioxide and other elements of the atmosphere and ocean. I guess if we successfully fail to find these programs, we will never really know if our climate is really changing. But maybe that’s really the point of not collecting this information? “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.”
Unfortunately in this case, it really can hurt you. We are talking about the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink, as just two examples of our natural environment that help sustain all life on this earth. “Climate change deniers” now have a friend in the White House. Long before Trump was elected, climate researchers have warned that the nation’s climate monitoring capabilities – which include satellite as well as air and surface-based instruments- were less than adequate and faced data collection gaps and other uncertainties. Elimination of any of these missions would severely limit our ability to monitor the effects on our fragile ecosystems. Without such critical information, we are truly endangering the quality of life for all living organisms on this earth. Al Gore was right. This is an inconvenient truth, and one that current political leadership simply wants to deny.
We must see the world, our future and that of our children’s from a broader view. We owe it to ourselves and to the generations that follow. We do have to worry, as inconvenient as that may be.
P.S. I will be back next Wednesday after a short Easter break. Thank you for following TechtoExpress.
Actually my optometrist was the most annoyed health practitioner I have recently visited about having to provide all my prescription information to the U.S. Electronic Health Record (E.H.R.) System. I am not so sure it was about having to do it, but having to do it himself (typing on his laptop) while he completed my eye exam. Maybe someone else could have done that at an additional cost. Not my problem I guess, until I get a bill and see how I have to pay for it, or hope that someone else will (Obamacare?). But most people seem to be more worried about whether their privacy will be protected?
Never really thought about it too much. Why would anyone really want to know anout my health history, but maybe that’s the point. Technology has helped make all this information potentially available to a wide variety of people who want to make us live healthier lives, but similarly there maybe others who would like to use it against us in some way? Or there may be others who just want more control over their personal information regardless of what benefits may be promised. I remember hearing the phrase “you know too much,” being uttered during casual conversations. Maybe this fear of personal information being “exposed” clouds our appreciation of how the sharing of personal health data can improve our general health care.
“Medical research is making progress every day, but the next step depends less on scientists and doctors than it does on the public. Each of us has the potential to be part of tomorrow’s cures.”