This week, we discuss what happens if consumers stop sharing their personal data; Kim Jong Un's latest call for sanctions relief; implications of the plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria; trends in teen marijuana use; changes in U.S.-China relations; and whether incentive programs can encourage physical activity.
Repeated data breaches have led Americans to be increasingly pessimistic about the personal data they share. What might happen if the public broadly opts out of using tech tools that rely on such data? According to RAND's Douglas Yeung, losing an unending flow of consumer data will threaten the sustainability of data-based technologies. And tech companies need to prepare for it.
In a New Year's address, Kim Jong Un stated that sanctions must be lifted before North Korea will give up any nuclear weapons. Prior to this demand, RAND's Bruce Bennett wrote that now is not the time to reduce U.S. pressure on the regime. Washington should instead consider proposing a freeze on North Korean nuclear weapon production. Bennett said this would be a key test of whether Kim Jong Un plans to fulfill his promise to denuclearize.
The Trump administration's plan to withdraw troops from Syria means the United States is relying on Turkey to counter the threat of ISIS. RAND's Colin Clarke says this move may breathe new life into the group. And eradicating the Islamic State has historically been a secondary priority for Turkey. In fact, Turkish leadership has often ignored it altogether.
Marijuana use among teenagers in Washington state appears to have declined in the years immediately following legalization. That's according to a new RAND study. These findings contradict earlier estimates about the impact of legalization. And researchers say this study highlights the need for better information about the trends in youth marijuana use.
There is growing consensus that the United States is engaged in a long-term, intensifying competition with China. It's less clear what type of relationship Washington should pursue with Beijing. RAND experts say that both competition and engagement are essential to future China policy. But there is only so much the United States can—or should—do to prevent China from becoming its peer.
As many people set new fitness goals for 2019, wellness incentive programs are just one of the tools that could offer some support. A recent RAND study examined whether one such program encouraged exercise. The program gave customers the opportunity to receive an Apple Watch up front, with repayment for the device dependent on physical activity. How did this approach compare with a traditional wellness incentive program?
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