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Category Archives: Medicine

Wyden Reveals Phone Data Used to Target Abortion Misinformation at Visitors to Hundreds of Reproductive Health Clinics

“U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., revealed today that an anti-abortion political group used mobile phone location data to send targeted misinformation to people who visited any of 600 reproductive health clinics in 48 states. In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission, Wyden urged the government to act quickly to protect the privacy of patients, and to hold the data broker accountable for misleading statements about its actions.  As a result of the Dobbs decision, which reversed Roe v. Wade and allowed states to criminalize abortion, privacy of location data has become increasingly important. Wyden began investigating a data broker named Near Intelligence in 2023, after the Wall Street Journal reported that an anti-abortion organization named The Veritas Society used cell phone location data shared with online advertising companies to target misinformation about reproductive health to people who visited Planned Parenthood locations in Wisconsin.

In response to questions from Sen. Wyden’s office, an official at the advertising agency used by The Veritas Society said the campaign actually targeted people who visited 600 Planned Parenthood locations, in 48 U.S. states. An official for Near also confirmed that the data broker also provided Americans’ location data to a defense contractor, which the Journal previously revealed was providing location data to the Defense Department and U.S. intelligence agencies…”

Atrocious Air

First Street: “Since the middle of the last century, the United States has witnessed significant changes in air quality, driven by industrialization, technological advancements, regulatory measures, and public awareness. The most important of these interventions was the Clean Air Act of 1963, which served as the first federal legislation addressing air quality concerns. While air… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 11, 2024

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 11, 2024 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on… Continue Reading

UnitedHealth uses AI model with 90% error rate to deny care, lawsuit alleges

Ars Technica: “Health insurance companies cannot use algorithms or artificial intelligence to determine care or deny coverage to members on Medicare Advantage plans, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clarified in a memo sent to all Medicare Advantage insurers. The memo—formatted like an FAQ on Medicare Advantage (MA) plan rules—comes just months after… Continue Reading

New paper explains why females are prone to autoimmune diseases

Ars Technica: “Eighty percent of patients with autoimmune diseases are female. These diseases are one of the top 10 leading causes of death for women under 65, and cases are increasing annually worldwide. There is evidence suggesting that it’s females’ double complement of X chromosomes that puts them at such heightened risk for autoimmune diseases.… Continue Reading

It’s time to admit that genes are not the blueprint for life

Nature: The view of biology often presented to the public is oversimplified and out of date. Scientists must set the record straight, argues a new book. How Life Works: A User’s Guide to the New Biology Philip Ball Pan Macmillan (2024) For too long, scientists have been content in espousing the lazy metaphor of living… Continue Reading

Keep Your Abortion Private & Secure

Digital Defense Fund: “This page is organized into different security-related threats. You can jump to the ones that most concern you. Along with each scenario is a list of digital security tips to neutralize the threat! These are possible concerns you might have: Seeing advertisements related to pregnancy/abortion Tech companies like Facebook and Google storing… Continue Reading

Making the Greatest Medical Library in America

NLM: “On a quest to bring together and catalog the world’s medical knowledge, John Shaw Billings, an Army surgeon and book collector who oversaw the U.S. Surgeon General’s library (today known as NLM), acquired approximately 300 pamphlets from the private collection of the renowned French physiologist Claude Bernard in 1878. Later that year, these scientific… Continue Reading

Access to abortion pills has grown since Dobbs

Vox: “Eighteen months after the Dobbs v. Jackson decision that overturned the constitutional right to abortion, and with a new Supreme Court challenge pending against the abortion medication mifepristone, confusion abounds about access to reproductive health care in America. Since the June 2022 decision, abortion rates in states with restrictions have plummeted, and researchers estimated… Continue Reading