American cannabis testing firm buys into Edmonton lab

An American cannabis testing and research firm is moving into the Canadian market by buying a 50-per-cent share of an Edmonton laboratory.

Evio Inc. of Bend, Ore. will pay $2.5 million for a half interest in Edmonton’s Keystone Labs Inc., a privately held contract-testing laboratory specializing in quality testing for regulated industries, according to a news release Friday.

Keystone was founded in 2005 by Jodi McDonald and does analytical work using Good Manufacturing Practices for pharmaceutical, biotechnological, medical device and natural health product companies.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Keystone Labs to expand our quality testing services into the cannabis market by supporting the production of safe cannabis for Canadians,” McDonald said in the news release.

The deal is expected to close by May 1.

Evio, which is also setting up subsidiary Evio Canada to run its Canadian operations, provides state-mandated services to ensure the safety and quality of the American cannabis supply.

The company had revenue of US$3 million in 2017.

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Source:: Edmonton Journal – Business

      

Audit clears Facebook despite Cambridge Analytica leaks

NEW YORK — An audit of Facebook’s privacy practices for the Federal Trade Commission found no problems even though the company knew at the time that a data-mining firm improperly obtained private data from millions of users — raising questions about the usefulness of such audits.

Facebook agreed to outside audits every two years as part of a 2011 settlement with the FTC over its privacy practices. It is not clear from the report whether the company informed PricewaterhouseCoopers, which performed the audit, of the Cambridge Analytica data grab that would put Facebook in the crosshairs of Congress.

The heavily redacted audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers is available on the FTC’s website. It covers February 12, 2015 to February 11, 2017.

PwC declined to comment, but Facebook said Friday that keeping data secure is a priority.

“We remain strongly committed to protecting people’s information, said Rob Sherman, Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer, in a statement. “We appreciate the opportunity to answer questions the FTC may have.”

The fact that PwC found no issues raised red flags for privacy advocates.

“The FTC failed to protect the public,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the nonprofit digital rights group Center for Digital Democracy. “Instead of conducting its own review to enforce one of its most important decisions— the consent decree —it looked the other way, which allowed Facebook to engage in serious misconduct.”

Chester said the audit shows that the “FTC cannot be relied on to really protect consumers.”

The 2011 consent decree bound Facebook to a 20-year privacy commitment. Any violations of that pact could cost the company a ton of money. In his congressional testimony last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared uninformed about key details of the agreement, saying he did not remember if it carried a financial penalty.

Any violations of the 2011 agreement could subject Facebook to fines of $41,484 per violation per user per day. To put that in context, Facebook could theoretically owe $8 billion for one single day violation affecting all of its American users, or about half of the profit that the company booked for all of last year.

The agreement requires that Facebook users give “affirmative express consent” any time that data they haven’t made public is shared with a third party. Cambridge Analytica accessed information from so many users (the firm puts the number at 30 million, although Facebook has said 87 million) because it was able to access the data of people’s …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

      

Home sale prices in Alameda County, April 20

3274 Derby Court, Dublin; $1.88 million; 5 bedrooms, 5½ bathrooms in 5,183 square feet; built in 2003 on 0.44 acres; home is situated on private lot with views of Livermore Valley vineyards; features a slate-floored wrap-around porch and pro landscaping, gourmet kitchen and butler’s pantry, and four-car tandem garage.

Click here to see transactions from previous weeks.

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Source:: East Bay – Business