Latest in Employee Monitoring: Badges That Listen, Tracking Social Media

September 19, 2016 – 12:10 pm
Companies have been monitoring their employees for years, in a variety of ways. Employers are using key-logging technology to monitor workers’ keystrokes and Internet-tracking software to log the sites that employees visit. Ars Technica and others reported on Xora, a job-management app that was used by one business to track employees even when they were off the clock. The latest in workplace […] Continued here: Latest in Employee Monitoring: Badges That Listen, Tracking Social Media

Federal Case and State Law Are Latest Moves to Curb Warrantless Use of Stingray Tech

August 8, 2016 – 11:38 am
The Stingray surveillance technology, also called cell-site simulator technology, can gather a significant amount of personal data from individuals’ cellphones. A recent federal case in New York and a new law in Illinois aim to curtail the warrantless use of Stingrays. The technology simulates a cellphone tower so that nearby mobile devices will connect to […] Link: Federal Case and State Law Are Latest Moves to Curb Warrantless Use of Stingray Tech

Pharma Digital Ad Spend Numbers are Elusive & Confusing

May 23, 2016 – 12:25 pm
Over the years I have tried to determine what portion of pharma's total marketing budget is devoted to digital and if that portion is increasing (see here , for example). Various sources look at various channels and it's not easy to compare one source with another. Even data from the same source may not compare apples to apples. Last month, for example, one pharma trade publication claimed that data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau showed that the pharma industry's digital ad spending in 2015 was "about $3 billion." But the data really applied to "Pharma and Healthcare," which includes "personal care, toiletries, and cosmetic products", etc. Since the latter product categories may be responsible for 50% of the $3 billion, I estimated the pharma Rx drug-specific digital ad spending was more like $1.5 billion, excluding search advertising (see " Did Pharma Really Spend $3 Billion on Internet Advertising in 2015? ...

As biometrics use expands, privacy questions continue to fester

April 19, 2016 – 11:21 am
As the costs of the technologies fall, biometric identification tools — such as fingerprint, iris or voice-recognition scanners — are increasingly being used in everyday life. There are significant privacy questions that arise as biometric data is collected and used, sometimes without the knowledge or consent of the individuals being scanned. Biometrics use has become […] Read more here: As biometrics use expands, privacy questions continue to fester

Who sees your health-app data? It’s hard to know.

March 24, 2016 – 11:03 am
Lots of people use personal health devices, such as Fitbits, or mobile health or wellness apps (there are a variety offered through Apple’s and Google’s app stores). There are important privacy and security questions about the devices and apps, because the data that they can gather can be sensitive — disease status, medication usage, glucose […] Original post: Who sees your health-app data? It’s hard to know.

Obama’s new federal privacy council long overdue, but Americans need more protections

February 24, 2016 – 11:45 am
Recently, President Obama released a package of cybersecurity reform proposals. Along with these proposals, Obama also unveiled a new executive order: “Establishment of the Federal Privacy Council.” The council will be composed of senior privacy officials from at least 24 federal agencies, including Cabinet-level departments and NASA and the Office of Personnel Management, and “may also include other […] Go here to see the original: Obama’s new federal privacy council long overdue, but Americans need more protections

Duke Chimes in on Off-Label Drug Promotion

February 21, 2016 – 1:29 pm
Drug "wonks" (e.g., Peter Pitts et al ) at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy released a report on "Policy Options for Off-Label Communication." The report authors want to end the off-label drug promotion (or, as they call it, "communications") "chaos" by creating an FDA-sanctioned "clearing house" or third-party organization that would accredit ("rank, score, or grade") off-label drug communications. The the Duke-Margolis Center and the authors of the report have ties to the FDA. Mark B. McClellan, the Center's head, is a former FDA commissioner appointed by president George Bush. McClellan resigned after a very short term involving a controversy over Plan B. The FDA deleted or threw out all of McClellan's e-mail and written correspondence on the subject (read " Plan B FDAgate "). Read more from the original source: Duke Chimes in on Off-Label Drug Promotion

Happy International Data Privacy Day 2016

January 28, 2016 – 11:18 am
International Data Privacy Day is today. Take the time to think about how privacy is important in your life and how you can protect your rights from being infringed upon. Please also take the time to donate to any number of organizations out there trying to protect your privacy rights. Visit the official site to find events near your area. See more here: Happy International Data Privacy Day 2016

Organizations Must Protect Against Insider Threats to Security

January 21, 2016 – 11:11 am
As personal information becomes more accessible and shareable through massive databases there is the question of security. Agencies and companies build protections against threats, but there is a unique problem with insider threats: Often, people are misusing or abusing their access privileges to private data rather than attempting to illegally gain access to the information. […] Continue reading here: Organizations Must Protect Against Insider Threats to Security

As Our Devices Increasingly Talk to Others, Privacy Questions Arise

December 17, 2015 – 11:45 am
As technology continues to evolve and become integrated into our lives, there are significant questions about privacy and security. We’ve discussed before the “Internet of Things,” which is a computerized network of physical objects. In IoT, sensors and data-storage devices embedded in objects interact with Web services. Such connected televisions, refrigerators and other devices can raise privacy […] Original post: As Our Devices Increasingly Talk to Others, Privacy Questions Arise

How Kim Kardashian Got Hired to Shill for Diclegis by "Auditioning" in a Nutraceutical Ad

November 16, 2015 – 1:30 pm
You may recall that the FDA sent a letter to Duchesnay Inc. because an Instagram post by Kim Kardashian promoting the company's morning sickness drug Diclegis violated the law (read " Kim Kardashian's Diclegis Instagram Post Raises Issues "). Some time afterward, Alex Peterson, SVP, Health Practice Director at Makovsky -- the agency that hired Kim to do the Diclegis Instagram social media campaign - claimed that Makovsky, through social monitoring, knew that Kardashian was struggling with nausea during her first pregnancy. She’d been talking about morning sickness for weeks ( read this account ). No doubt Makovsky also knew that Kardashian promoted nutraceuticals years earlier in 2010. As reported by STAT, in a video ad for the QuickTrim (see end of this post), "Khloe Kardashian rolls languorously in a tangle of white sheets and asks, 'Do you feel sexy? Do you have the body you’ve always dreamed of?' ...

Legislators, Federal Officials Seek Limits on Use of Stingray Surveillance Technology

November 10, 2015 – 11:25 am
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) recently introduced a bill, H.R. 3871, The Stingray Privacy Act (pdf), to limit the use of cellphone surveillance technology known as cell-site simulators or “Stingray” technology. The bill, Chaffetz says, “would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before deploying a cell site simulator consistent with recently issued federal guidance and […] See original here: Legislators, Federal Officials Seek Limits on Use of Stingray Surveillance Technology