Is DNA Based Healthcare Worth the Risk?

Is DNA Based Healthcare Worth the Risk?

All of us are built differently. That’s why our bodies can handle different foods in different ways, different workout routines yield varying results between individuals, and some of us seem to always get the seasonal flu while others stay stuffy-nose-free (seemingly without trying really hard to do so). So figuring out what’s the healthiest – the best – way of eating, exercising and living your life seems like a reasonable and even rational goal.

So how can we figure that out? With DNA testing, or to be more exact, analyzing genome and blood biomarkers. However, this type of testing has some obvious privacy repercussions. Let’s weigh the pros and the cons.

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Controlled Identity Exposure as a Doxxing Countermeasure

Controlled Identity Exposure as a Doxxing Countermeasure

Usually when talking about personal data in the context of increasing (online) privacy, the discussion is revolving around either one or two of the following subjects:

  1. Limiting or removing as much of your data as possible
  2. Populating data about you with disinformation

What I see talked about less (or barely at all) is the active management of your online data and the controlled method of data disclosure. Maybe some dismiss this as a no-brainer, but in my opinion there’s some easy and powerful wins to be gained by giving this third subject the attention it deserves.

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Is There Privacy with Wearables? Case Oura Ring

Is There Privacy with Wearables? Case Oura Ring

Out of all the information we generate (willingly or unwillingly) out there, nothing gets more personal than health data. Traditionally, health data has been collecting dust in some public healthcare sector’s file cabinet, but thanks to fitness and wellness gadgets and services, that data is now scattered across the world.

Workout heatmaps reveal secret military bases left and right, DNA testing services get breached and fitness trackers go bankrupt leaving data who knows where. Is there any hope for privacy left in this field?

After 8 months of waiting since preorder, I’m now an owner of a new Oura ring – one of the most advanced wellness and sleep trackers on the market. Among other things, Oura gives its user (wearer?) every day an overall score for Sleep, Readiness and Activity. I decided to return the favor and go through Oura’s Privacy Policy with a fine comb and give Oura a Privacy score. This is how it went down.

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The Inconvenient Truths about the Cambridge Analytica Files

The Inconvenient Truths about the Cambridge Analytica Files

I reluctantly joined Facebook back in December 2011. During the couple of years I had the account, I learned more and more about the shadowy monster that provided us with our daily hourly doses of dopamine in the forms of likes, shares and status updates.

This brings us to the first inconvenient – and most obvious – truth about the so-called Cambridge Analytica case: there’s absolutely nothing new in any of it.

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Perceived Privacy vs. Revealing Reality – Case Vero

Perceived Privacy vs. Revealing Reality – Case Vero

After my previous blog post got some unexpected publicity, there were some curious instances of Vero apologists defending the platform. Two main cases they presented were:

  1. No matter how shadily Vero might treat your privacy, it’s fine since it’s covered in their Privacy Policy
  2. Every other social media platform does the same thing anyway

I’ll give it to them, the second point is almost 100% accurate, but it simply doesn’t make it any more OK to invade users’ privacy. However, it’s the first point that really grinds my gears, especially when it comes to Vero.

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PSA: Vero App Stores Your Phone Contacts Even After You’ve Disabled Its Access to Them

PSA: Vero App Stores Your Phone Contacts Even After You’ve Disabled Its Access to Them

TL;DR: if you allow Vero to access your phone’s Contacts even for a brief moment, instead of one-time reading them, it quietly stores them all, links them to your account and uses to shape the user experience. It also gives users who have given access to their Contacts a way of connecting with users who have explicitly denied Vero’s access to their respective phone’s contact list. As an icing on the cake, there’s no way you can delete that info from the service afterwards. This blog post examines how this works.

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10 OPSEC Tips That Everyone Should Follow

10 OPSEC Tips That Everyone Should Follow

Following in the footsteps of two great guides, “10 Commandments for a Safer Internet” and “0x0A Hack Commandments”, I was inspired to give something back to the community. For the average Joe, operational security – or OPSEC for short – is basically just about risk management through identifying specific pieces of information requiring protection, and employing measures to protect them. Sounds intimidating? Don’t worry, because you’re already doing it.

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