IDG Contributor Network: CVS’s Target deal: Prescription for a privacy disaster

When Target announced this week that it was selling its pharmacy business to CVS, it was good news for CVS, which will add more than 1,660 pharmacies across 47 states — plus 80 clinics — to its network of some 7,800 drugstores and almost 1,000 clinics. But lost amid all of the mega-drugstore talk are some extremely likely data security and privacy problems and HIPAA horrors.

What we have is a potential data security train wreck. Screaming in one track is Target’s collection of highly sensitive personal prescription and medical history, one of the largest in the world, while barreling in on the other track we have Target’s employees, who have little incentive to carefully follow data transfer protocols now that the data is about to be taken over by another company — and who likely suspect that they will not be Target employees much longer.

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How artificial intelligence explains analytics

Steve Lohr recently wrote an interesting article titled “If Algorithms Know All, How Much Should Humans Help?” for The New York Times that examines our ability to collaborate with and trust the increasingly intelligent systems that are entering both the workplace and our homes. He noted that without some level of transparency into the reasoning done by these systems, we are going to be forced to simply have faith in the output of “black boxes.”

This got me thinking about the emerging intelligent and analytic systems that are on the horizon. How are they going to interact with us? What are the ways we can partner with them? Are we going to be regulated to the role of simply looking at their output and just doing what we are told?

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IDG Contributor Network: Government prioritizes digital engagement

A recent trend in government has been to build upon lessons learned in the private sector to enhance the quality and effectiveness of government service. One area receiving attention this past year has been in the government’s digital engagement with stakeholders and citizens.

Specifically, the fiscal 2016 budget request by the White House includes proposed spending of $105 million to “scale and institutionalize” the U.S. Digital Service. The idea is to create teams of digital experts at various agencies to help identify and fix IT problems with the customer facing public.  

The U.S. Digital Service was created to address problems (such as those that happened with the HealthCare.gov launch) with government engaging with citizens and to upgrade the IT structure to one that can scale and has innovation, transparency and accountability. 

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Did Google’s Eric Schmidt just call Apple’s Tim Cook a liar?

Bilderberg Group regular, Google chairman Eric Schmidt just took time out to tell the BBC Apple’s claims about Google privacy are “largely false”.

Talking Schmidt

Here’s what he said:

“Their claims are largely false in their description of us.”

What does that mean? Is Schmidt accusing Apple CEO Tim Cook of telling falsehoods/lies (ie. “largely false”), or is he conceding that some of Cook’s claims are true, while obfuscating the matter?

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