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Have you been to a marijuana dispensary? How about a gun show, an abortion clinic—or the home of somebody you’re not married to? Federal, state and local police may well have a visual record—picked up during blanket surveillance of automobile license plates. It’s supposed to be about drug traffic and stolen cars, but critics call it another massive violation of privacy rights protected by the Constitution. The NSA knows what you do on the Internet. Now, law enforcement knows where you’ve been.

Also, Romney drops out of the 2016 presidential race, and personalized medicine gets a boost from the President.

Banner Image Credit: Adrian Pingstone

Romney Drops Out, GOP White House Field Still Full 6 MIN, 9 SEC

It’s been less than a month since Mitt Romney told a group of Republicans donors he was thinking about another run for the presidential nomination. Today, in conference calls to advisors and others he essentially said, "never mind." Philip Rucker is National Political Correspondent for the Washington Post.

Philip Rucker, Washington Post (@PhilipRucker)

License Plates, Law Enforcement and Violations of Privacy 33 MIN, 37 SEC

The National License Plate Recognition Program was begun by the Drug Enforcement Agency in 2008 to track the movement of drugs and drug money along the Mexican border. It has been buried in secrecy. But documents obtained by the ACLU and interviews by the Wall Street Journal reveal that it’s been vastly expanded, and US Senators are among those worried about significant violations of privacy all over the country.

License plate scanners in search of drug traffickers and stolen cars often identify the occupants of automobiles—revealing how ordinary Americans go about their business. It’s unclear how long the pictures stay in the files of federal and local police… or who else has access. But concerns about privacy are being raised.

Devlin Barrett, Washington Post (@DevlinBarrett)
Jay Stanley, American Civil Liberties Union (@JayCStanley)
Mike Katz-Lacabe, resident of San Leandro, CA (@mlacabe)
Mike Sena, San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
Clark Neily, Institute for Justice (@ConLawWarrior)

Personalized Medicine Gets a Boost from the President 9 MIN, 44 SEC

At the White House today, President Obama said he’ll ask Congress for $215 million to recruit volunteers for a new approach to medical care. What is “personalized medicine"? What are the “opportunities for breakthroughs”?

“Precision” or “personalized” medicine is possible because of reductions in the cost of sequencing the genome of an individual patient. Caroline Chen reports on healthcare for Bloomberg News.

Caroline Chen, Bloomberg News (@CarolineYLChen)

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