More and more we see changes in our world that make us think about the type of movement we read about in the books “Brave New World” and “1984”. It sometimes seems as though each advance we see in certain areas of endeavor means an equivalent advance in the erosion of privacy.

So it is with some news from slashdot, not hidden in any way, but simply buried in the information traffic of today, simply slipping by most without any real notice.

“CNN has an interesting story about how newborn babies in the United States are routinely screened for a panel of genetic diseases. Since the testing is mandated by the government, it’s often done without the parents’ consent. However, many states store that DNA information indefinitely, and even make it available to researchers with little or no privacy safeguards. Sometimes even the names are attached! Here is information on state-by-state policies (PDF) of the handling of the DNA information.”

For anyone that has viewed the movie “Gattaca”, which revisited the same territory as the above two books, it was clear that the advances making life better for many was also to make things very difficult for some.

Privacy is being eroded by inches each day, and in many areas, we have already started down the slippery slope. Those that don’t understand this are perhaps deluding themselves purposely.

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Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

William Faulkner

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