37 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
Copyright © 2019 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.

The Telecom Digest for Fri, 28 Jun 2019
Volume 38 : Issue 179 : "text" format

Table of contents
Google and the University of Chicago Are Sued Over Data SharingMonty Solomon
AT&T sued over hidden fee that raises mobile prices above advertised rateBill Horne
Robocall scamsHAncock4
Re: The fight to end robocallsHAncock4
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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Message-ID: <0CB5C6ED-0057-4F72-981E-BA24FCC1691D@roscom.com> Date: 26 Jun 2019 22:30:05 -0400 From: "Monty Solomon" <monty@roscom.com> Subject: Google and the University of Chicago Are Sued Over Data Sharing The lawsuit demonstrates the tension between building A.I. systems and protecting the privacy of patients. By Daisuke Wakabayashi SAN FRANCISCO - When the University of Chicago Medical Center announced a partnership to share patient data with Google in 2017, the alliance was promoted as a way to unlock information trapped in electronic health records and improve predictive analysis in medicine. On Wednesday, the University of Chicago, the medical center and Google were sued in a potential class-action lawsuit accusing the hospital of sharing hundreds of thousands of patients' records with the technology giant without stripping identifiable date stamps or doctor's notes. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/26/technology/google-university-chicago-data-sharing-lawsuit.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** On first glance, this isn't related to telecommunications - except it is. HIPAA has exceptions that facilitate statistical analysis, which is one of the most important tools available to researchers who study environment-sensitive diseases such as cancer. I agree that they need that data, but ISTM that HIPAA is being honoroed more in the breach than in the observance. Database providers have been relying on a work-around hack called "Tokenization" to meet HIPAA privacy requirments. In theory, it's simple: a name like "Bill Horne" becomes "B243677 H38fr05," and my social security number becomes "987-65-4321," and my date of birth becomes "2204-05-31" - and then the data can't be tied to an individual named "Bill Horne". In theory. Sad to say, the theory doesn't work when it meets business reality: marketers at the database companies don't want to know that B243677 H38fr05 had cancer: they can't sell that fact. They want to be able to tell their clients - such as HR departments in mid-to-large-sized corporations - that they can enter "Bill Horne" into the web interface of a server located in Sri Lanka or Mexico or Kazakhstan, and find out that B243677 H38fr05 might raise their group health-insurance rates and miss a lot of man-hours. Of course, there are other customers: the morticians at Forest Yawn, hedge-fund managers looking for hidden toxic-waste dumps, medical-tourism salesdroids pitching offshore medical miracles, car salesmen hawking loan insurance with "no physical required," politicians willing to pretend they care about B243677 H38fr05's health, and touchy-feely worthy causes seeking to be included in Mr. H38fr05's last will and testament. The list goes on and on ... There's more than one way to skin a regulation, and the "Tokenized" data can be traced back to an individual when combined with other databases - wait for it - such as those available from cellular companies. If B243677 H38fr05 had a polyp removed from his colon at the Dana Farber Cancer institute on 2268-01-06, and a cellular phone belonging to Bill Horne was at that location on that date, and placed or received calls from a physician who performs colonoscopies at Dana Farber, then the Tokenized data has just become part of token security. Bill Horne Moderator ------------------------------ Message-ID: <20190625184414.GA22015@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2019 18:44:14 +0000 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> Subject: AT&T sued over hidden fee that raises mobile prices above advertised rate AT&T deceives customers by adding $2-per-month fee after they sign up, suit says. By Jon Brodkin AT&T is facing a class-action complaint over its practice of charging a $1.99-per-month "Administrative Fee" that isn't disclosed in its advertised rates. As the complaint notes, "AT&T prominently advertises particular flat monthly rates for its post-paid wireless service plans." But after customers sign up, the telco "covertly increases the actual price" by tacking on the "bogus so-called 'Administrative Fee,'" according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in US District Court for the Northern District of California. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/06/att-sued-over-hidden-fee-that-raises-mobile-prices-above-advertised-rate/ -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) ------------------------------ Message-ID: <3905433b-46ea-4ec0-bbbc-1eae50e39f02@googlegroups.com> Date: 26 Jun 2019 12:13:47 -0700 From: HAncock4 <withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org> Subject: Robocall scams An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer described ways scammers are using robocalls to defraud people. For instance, one easy-to-fall for trick is the "Can you hear me?" scam. As soon as you pick up, a recording designed to get you to say "Yes" starts playing, such as "Can you hear me?" The scammer then uses the recording of you saying "Yes" to authorize charges to your credit card. This is why you should hang up without saying anything if you pick up a robocall. full article at: https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/robocalls-pennsylvania-fcc-complaints-20190625.html Personal note: I am no lawyer, but I'm not sure how a recorded snippet would be enforceable in a collection action. More significantly, presumably the scammers get their money from credit cards. In order to collect, they need to have a banking relationship, who would in return bill the victims credit card carrier. So, the question becomes, why aren't the credit card transactions being investigated back to the source? Should credit card companies be more selective on whom they honor billing requests? ------------------------------ Message-ID: <28e1ac16-572b-48b1-97c9-a89f8b0ff141@googlegroups.com> Date: 26 Jun 2019 12:43:09 -0700 From: HAncock4 <withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org> Subject: Re: The fight to end robocalls On Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 3:28:03 PM UTC-4, Bill Horne wrote: > "If there is one thing in our country today that unites Republicans > and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, socialists and liber- > tarians, vegetarians and carnivores, Ohio State and Michigan fans, > it is that they are sick and tired of being bombarded by unwanted > robocalls," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, adding, "We hear you, and we > are on your side." https://wcfcourier.com/opinion/editorial/the-fight-to-end-robocalls/article_b05a313f-fc98-545d-9786-32e379b3ba78.html Let's see if they ban political and survey calls, which get worse year after year. My phone rings continuously in October, even in offyear elections, with political pitch calls. I also get flooded with political survey calls, most of which are automated. I can't help suspect some of them are scams. None are from well known organizations. I heard if you participate they then turn on the sales pitch. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Political campaigns and charitable organizations are exempt from the requirement to check the do-not-call list. I always fight back: when a clerk plays me the recording of Elizabeth Warren, I tell him/her that I think Elizabeth should spend more money on preserving the Southern Creek Darters, and I lean back and listen while the clerk switches on the recording about environmental conerns. When the recording asks me to push a button to contribute, I get to the money taker and complain that the Southern Creek Darters are a baseball team. They stop calling me. Bill Horne Moderator ------------------------------ ********************************************* End of telecom Digest Fri, 28 Jun 2019

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