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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 24 February 2017 > MIND YOUR BUSINESS

MIND YOUR BUSINESS

Snapchat’s billion-dollar IPO may be a huge vote for privacy in the age of devious data-sucking

DISRUPTIVE

SNAP, CRACKLE, STALK: Donald Trump is stoking fears of a surveillance state, and Snap is one of the few social media companies that doesn’t base its business model on knowing everything it can about you.
JAE C. HONG/AP

@kmaney

DONALD TRUMP may be the best thing that could happen to Snap’s upcoming initial public offering.

It’s not just that Snap’s Snapchat app stands to gain millions of users as people lee the noxious political cloud that has enveloped Facebook like pollution on a redalert day in Beijing. There’s an even more significant way the new president will help the company: He is stoking fears about an Orwellian surveillance state, and Snap is one of the few social media companies that doesn’t base its business model on knowing everything it can about you. So, the thinking goes, a few years from now, maybe you’ll be able to enjoy mainstream media on Snapchat absent the worry you’ll get a midnight knock on the door.

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THE WAR ON ALZHEIMER'S This aggressive attempt to prevent Alzheimer’s rather than treating it is the most exciting new development in decades, as well as a radical departure for researchers and the pharmaceutical industry. Traditionally, drug companies have tested their therapies on patients who already have memory loss, trouble thinking and other signs of dementia. It’s been a losing tactic: More than ninety nine percent of all Alzheimer’s drugs have failed tests in the clinic, and the few that have made it to the market only ameliorate some symptoms. No single medicine has been shown to slow the relentless progression of the disease. However this new approach, even partial success an appreciable slowing of brain degeneration could have a big impact, says Dr. Reisa Sperling, a neurologist who directs the Center for Alzheimer’s Researc.