The Switchboard: 23andMe obeys FDA and pulls its marketing

December 3, 2013
The company 23AndMe says that its "Personal Genome Service" can detect more than 240 genetic conditions and traits, but the FDA says the group has failed to provide the scientific data necessary to prove that its test works. (Nicki Demarco/The Washington Post)

Published every weekday, The Switchboard highlights the five tech policy stories you need to read.

23andMe halts advertising amid FDA demands. "While 23andMe has forged on despite the Food and Drug Administration's order to halt sales, the company is now saying it has stopped marketing its products as a result of the kerfuffle," CNET reports. "In the meantime, however, 23andMe has continued to sell its at-home testing kits as it works to come in compliance with the FDA's requests."

U.S. antitrust regulators okay Microsoft-Nokia deal. "U.S. regulators have given the green light to Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's handset business, moving the deal a major step closer to wrapping up," according to Computerworld. "Microsoft announced the acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services business Sept. 3, when it said it would pay the Finnish firm a total of $7.2 billion, a figure that included $2.2 billion to license Nokia's patents."

FCC chair hints at spectrum-allocation idea. "The nation's top telecommunications regulator on Monday gave his strongest indication to date that he might support limiting big carriers like AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless from amassing huge amounts of high-quality airwaves at a coming spectrum auction," the Wall Street Journal reports. "Mr. Wheeler specifically mentioned an April filing by the Department of Justice urging the FCC to craft auction rules that ensure AT&T and Verizon Wireless aren't able to gobble up all the spectrum below 1 gigahertz."

Edward Snowden revelations prompt UN investigation into surveillance. "The UN's senior counter-terrorism official is to launch an investigation into the surveillance powers of American and British intelligence agencies," the Guardian reports. "The UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC said his inquiry would also seek to establish whether the British parliament had been misled about the capabilities of Britain's eavesdropping headquarters, GCHQ, and whether the current system of oversight and scrutiny was strong enough to meet United Nations standards."

Accused of cyberspying, Huawei is ‘Exiting the U.S. market.’ "In a rare interview on Nov. 25 with French journalists," Foreign Policy reports, "Ren Zhengfei, the 69-year-old founder and CEO of China-based Huawei, said he would no longer look for business in the United States, in the wake of accusations from lawmakers and government officials that the company is a de facto arm of the Chinese authorities."

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post.
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Brian Fung · December 2, 2013