State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Week 3

Hello again!

This week I'll be talking about the article "Privacy Issues In Week's Ethics News".  As there are three main points to this article I will break them up. 

The first section talks about Henrietta Lacks, she is a poor black tabacco farmer who was diagnosed with cancer in 1951.  While the doctors were caring for Henrietta they took a cells from a tumor to study them.  Henrietta died shortyly after they took the cells and they continued to grow ever since.  The question here is if they should have taken these cells without her permission.  The National Public Radio reported on this topic and they too want to know if this was ethical or not.  The information scientists have discovered in Henrietta's cells could have been passed down to her decendents.  Personally if I were her child I would have wanted to know if there were any genetic disorders or deficiencies. 

Second topic:  A NJ man is trying to change the federal law that keeps parents from accessing adult children's medical records.  His reason for this is because he feels that if he had known about his sons heroin addiction he could have helped save his life.  This man is working to change the federal law to be- parents may have acces to their childrens medical records until age 26.  I've never had anything on my medical reports that my parents couldnt know about. Nor were my parents conserned for my safety, not on this level anyway.  There are families out there that medical information could potentially put children at risk.  I don't agree with his need to change the law.  I agree tha this was a tragic event for him and I do feel for him. 

Third topic: There is talk about technology installed in stores to monitor customer behavior.  This technology uses facial recognition to determine age and gender.  It also picks up on cell phone frequencies to determine how long you've been in the store.  This doesn't sound like a problem to me, until someone starts to abuse the technology.  I may sound paranoid when I say this, but there are always stories of people abusing technology.  Anyway, a lot of stores are doing similar things already.  Whenever I go to Walmart there is a person walking the store all day long watching people and preventing theft.  I know this because he is married into my family.  He is constently talk about things he's seen or thefts hes prevented; it's quite interesting. With the camera's in the stores and some time people watching you can pick up on behaviors without a program telling you to watch for certian manorisms.  Granted, having a program tell you that someone is about to do something illegal would be easier than watching cameras all day. 

Have a good day! 


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