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President Donald Trump's administration launched a pilot program on Monday that would allow the government to collect DNA from people held in immigration custody. That DNA would then be sent to a criminal database within the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

U.S. citizens, permanent legal residents, asylum seekers, and those apprehended at the border would all be subject to sampling and refusal would be grounds for a misdemeanor charge. Children as young as 14 would be subject to DNA collection.

The administration cites the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005, which allows for DNA collection from anyone "arrested or detained" by the U.S. government. That Republican-sponsored bill removed provisions from the DNA Identification Act of 1994 that protected those not charged with a crime from mandatory DNA testing.

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Technology continues to advance at an exponential rate. With that unprecedented growth, technology continues to grow closer and closer to our bodies. As a society, we have become reliant on our smartphones and smartwatches. Now, technology is getting under people’s skin.

In Sweden, thousands of individuals have had microchips inserted into their hands. Ideally, the chips are designed to make daily life more convenient. The chips have the capability to access homes, offices, and gyms with a simple swipe of the individual’s hand.

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If the rest of the world weren’t on fire, 2018 might be remembered as the year of reckoning for social media. Every week there’s a new report of a company gathering and selling data without users’ permission. The latest installment comes from the Amazon Echo.

In Oregon, a user’s Echo device recorded a conversation between the owner and her husband, then sent the audio to an acquaintance of the owner without her knowledge or permission. The acquaintance contacted the owner upon receiving the message, worried that the device might have been hacked.

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(Photos by The View/ABC and Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

The First Lady of the United States garners a lot of attention from the media and the public. In the modern era of social media and smart phones, the last few FLOTUS saw analysis of every public appearance and outfit they wore skyrocket.

As a former model, the current FLOTUS Melania Trump knows her way around a photo-op, but likely never faced the level of public scrutiny into her private life she experiences now. While she did marry a man who constantly courts publicity for his primary source of income—trading on the Trump brand— did she sign up for this?

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Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith speaks during the annual Microsoft shareholders meeting in Bellevue, Washington on November 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Redmond

In early July, a New York Times story about how Chinese officials are using facial recognition technology to track down lawbreakers went viral.

The story opened with a short anecdote about a police officer in Zhengzhou who used his special glasses to catch a heroin smuggler. His glasses were powered by artificial intelligence that allowed him to match the faces around him — each of which had been recorded by numerous security cameras around the city — with the face of the perpetrator. People around the world tweeted about the dystopian nature of this use of technology, making the usual jokes about the movie Minority Report. In the U.S., many worried about whether we might be next. As with most viral news stories, this was knocked off the top of the trending list by the next story.

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A couple of months ago I was lounging on my couch watching TV and snacking on Stacy’s Pita Chips. The cinnamon sugar ones are my favorite —they’re just sweet enough to feel like a dessert, but they have a satisfying crunch almost like a potato chip. During a commercial, I started to scroll through Instagram on my phone, and almost immediately I found myself looking at a promoted post for Stacy’s pita chips.

It’s not that strange to see an ad on Instagram these days — in fact, some are so stealthily designed they look like they could be actual posts from friends. But I’d never seen an ad for Stacy’s anywhere that I could remember, let alone on Instagram. And now suddenly I’m eating them and they pop up on my screen.

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Photo Credit: Dubai Media Office.

The city of Dubai wants to get to know its three million residents well—you might even say better than they know themselves. As part of a project called Dubai 10X Initiative, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) plans to gather the DNA of each of its inhabitants with the stated goal of ending disease in its population. By creating a giant database of genetic disorders in Dubai’s population, the city hopes that researchers can develop customized treatments.

The project has three phases: First, a database will be created to build the necessary infrastructure for large-scale whole-genome sequencing. Next, artificial intelligence will accomplish the complex sequence analysis. According to the DHA, it will analyze longitudinal data to predict risks associated with genetic illnesses. The third phase will develop precision medicine in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies and academia to design treatments. The hope is that such a plan will ultimately eradicate genetic diseases, or at least predict them, so that doctors can work with patients to develop treatment and prevention plans. The ultimate goal, says the DHA, is to create a “happy and healthy society.”

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