Jul 312017
 July 31, 2017  Posted by  Business, Featured News, Healthcare

Eugene Kim and Christina Farr report:

Amazon has started a secret skunkworks lab dedicated to opportunities in health care, including new areas such as electronic medical records and telemedicine. Amazon has dubbed this stealth team 1492, which appears to be a reference to the year Columbus first landed in the Americas.

The stealth team, which is headquartered in Seattle, is focused on both hardware and software projects, according to two people familiar. Amazon has become increasingly interested in exploring new business in healthcare. For example, Amazon has another unit exploring selling pharmaceuticals, CNBC reported in May.

Read more on CNBC.

h/t, Joe Cadillic

Jul 312017
 July 31, 2017  Posted by  Healthcare, Surveillance, U.S.

Theo Douglas reports:

Missouri’s new statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) should be operational later this summer, the state’s top health official told Government Technology — and will not conflict with the ongoing activation of county PDMPs.

Gov. Eric Greitens waded into the statehouse debate that had blocked a statewide PDMP for about 12 years — making Missouri the lone remaining state without its own program — signing Executive Order (EO) 17-18 on Tuesday, July 17.

The state’s PDMP is envisioned as a companion vehicle to expanding local efforts spearheaded by St. Louis County that began earlier this year and already cover the majority of the state, Dr. Randall Williams, director of health and senior services, told Government Technology.

Read more on Government Technology.

h/t, Joe Cadillic

Jul 312017
 July 31, 2017  Posted by  Business, Surveillance, U.S.

From EPIC.org:

EPIC has filed a complaint with the FTC asking the Commission to investigate Google’s tracking of in-store purchases. According to EPIC, Google collects billions of credit and debit card transactions and then links that personal data to the activities of Internet users. Google claims that it protects online privacy but refuses to reveal details of the algorithm that “deidentifies” consumers while tracking their purchases. EPIC’s complaint asks the FTC to stop Google’s tracking of in-store purchases and determine whether Google adequately protects consumer privacy. EPIC has filed several successful FTC complaints that led to FTC investigations, including complaints about changes to Facebook’s privacy preferences and the launch of Google Buzz. EPIC has also focused on the adequacy of privacy techniques, with complaints against AskEraser (search histories that are not deleted) and Snapchat (images that do not “vanish”). EPIC’s recent complaint against Google notes that the company is seeking to extend its dominance of online advertising to the physical world.

Jul 302017
 July 30, 2017  Posted by  Breaches, Business, Court, Healthcare

Turna Ray reports:

Genealogy firm Family Tree DNA has challenged the constitutionality of Alaska’s Genetic Privacy Act on the grounds that the statute is so vague in its definitions of terms, such as “DNA analysis,” “disclosure,” and “informed consent,” that the firm cannot know how to comply with the law.

The move is part of Family Tree DNA’s defense strategy in a lawsuit in which a customer, Alaska resident Michael Cole, is alleging the company breached his rights under the Genetic Privacy Act by publicly sharing his genetic information without his consent.

Read more on Genome Web.