Race is the new black

Since people have been anesthetized to the “privacy threats” that everybody and his cousin is seeing around, now “race” is the new trend to bash profiling, surveillance and whatever else the “human rights  warriors” pick as “enemy-of-the-day”.

This article from wired.com – that matches the same “philosophy” of this one published by Wired.it about the racism of algorithm – hints at  a new trend to give trollers something to (keyboard) fight for: forget privacy, RACE is the buzzword-to-go to show righteous indignation!

Algorithms are bad for RACE, Artificial Intelligence is bad for RACE, face recognition is a RACE thing… computer and RACE, smartphone and RACE, videogames and RACE, RACE, RACE,  RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE.

p.s. Sorry Monty Python.

Scientific Research: the Italian Data Protection Commissioner Soro to support a very dangerous position about Biobanks

In an interview published by the Italian newspaper “La Stampa” on Oct. 31, 2017 the Italian Data Protection Commissioner Soro stated that:

“If it is true that a profit can be gained from the research on human biological material, is it true – too – that there is no such thing as biobank ownership, but only the right to research the available samples. 1

Continue reading “Scientific Research: the Italian Data Protection Commissioner Soro to support a very dangerous position about Biobanks”

  1. “Se è vero che si possono ottenere profìtti dalle ricerche sul materiale biologico degli esseri umani, è altrettanto vero non esiste la proprietà di una biobanca, ma solo il diritto a fare studi sui campioni disponibili” – English translation by Andrea Monti.

Upcoming Data Protection Regulation to Hampers Genetic and Pharmaceutical Research

The privacy hysteria that since twenty or so years affects policy makers and data protection authorities, reached a new peak with the upcoming data protection regulation whose text has been published last Dec, 18, 2015.

While, thanks God, the text clearly states that “biosample” as such aren’t “personal data”

genetic data should be defined as personal data relating to the genetic characteristics of an individual which have been inherited or acquired as they result from an analysis of a biological sample from the individual in question, in particular by chromosomal, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA) analysis or analysis of any other element enabling equivalent information to be obtained

Nevertheless there is no clear reference to the fact that genetic (and, in general, health-related) researches can’t be pre-emptively limited to specific processing since scientists work with microscopes and not with crystal balls.

The result is that every research project that deals with patient (and patient’s relatives) records might face enormous bureaucratic burdens every time a new path of study emerges from the current one.

Furthermore, the regulation says that:

Member States may maintain or introduce further conditions, including limitations, with regard to the processing of genetic data, biometric data or health data

In other words, then, we will likely face a flood of local regulation that will make harder to perform researches that save human life.

Sure, there will always be the possibility to challenge in court the letter of the law, claiming that no provision can be interpreted in such a way to endanger human life and that data protection, in constitutional terms, is a “lesser right” when compared to the right to health. But this takes time, money and an open-minded court.

In the meantime, scientists will either slow down their activities or risk to be taken in court.

Does it make sense?