Sunday, March 09, 2014

"60 Minutes" on March 9, 2014

Steve Kroft reports in "The Data Brokers," that 'in the name of commerce', thousands of mostly unknown companies collect, store and sell extensive and vast amounts of data which threatens individual privacy. FTC Commissioner Julie Brill on personal dossiers. Sat alum, Acxiom. Statlistics, Paramount. Program Disconnect software can be useful to block collection of web browsing history. Tim Sparapani; Okcupid site. Third parties get info. App downloads like "Angry Birds" and "Brightest Flashlight" extends your personal information forward.

Ego location information. Path social. App downloading contact list. Eg Facebook user name. Epsilon, Experion. Brian Kennedy of Epsilon. The internet is an advertising medium.

As to the intellectual property issue of privacy:

Even news sites like the one you're on,, allow data brokers and ad trackers to collect users' information.

AND the following postscript to the story

N.B.: Weight Watchers was contacted during the reporting of this story; their response, which arrived just before publication: "We take the protection of our members' privacy very seriously. Weight data collected on is not used for advertising by Weight Watchers or third parties." We refer readers to's privacy policy, which explains how exactly they share users' weight data with third parties.

Second, Clarissa Ward on Ukraine, "The Heart of the Revolution". Petro Perishenko: people demanding modernization of the country. Vitaly Klitcho on Ukrainian politics -- "No rules...never expect police use guns...can't's unreal...I have a feeling I am in movies." Petro: "America should use available instruments."

Final story by Bob Simon: Atacama Large Millimeter Array. [ALMA] Radiotelescope in Atacama Desert. 16,500 feet: above most of earth's atmosphere. Brilliant night sky. High and dry. ALMA consists of 66 radioantennas. Pierre Cox is ALMA's director. Like being Secretary General of United Nations? No. All members agree on the same task. Hubbell is an optical telescope; ALMA is a radiotelescope. Natal environment of planets. Found glycolaldehyde [HOCH2-CH=O]. [Alison Peck: We found a simple sugar called glycolaldehyde. BUT Wikipedia: While not a true sugar, it is the simplest sugar-related molecule.The local populations of the Atacama defined formations in terms of the dark patches.


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