This week’s technology news – 16th May 2014

Major headache for Google as Euro court ruling supports take down requests.
A European court has ruled this week that individuals could force the removal of “irrelevant and outdated” search results. Google is starting to receive fresh takedown requests for information links that could otherwise show up in old caches when searches are made. Google refuses to confirm how many requests have been made and is remaining tight-lipped about the EU ruling, after initially responding that the “right to be forgotten” ruling was “disappointing”.

The EU has been pushing heavily for a new law on data privacy – of which “right to be forgotten” is a key component, since it proposed guidelines in January 2012. It does appear to contradict the EU advocate general’s advice in 2013 that search engines would not be obliged to honour such requests. Whilst EU Commissioner Viviane Reding is calling it a victory for the protection of personal data, legal commentators consider it will be hard to implement and difficult to manage.

In the meantime, the door to the Information Commissioner’s Office is likely to be on the receiving end of a few more knocks for advice. This demonstrates a real conflict between a perceived infringement of privacy and the rights of free speech and freedom of information for society. If the full EU proposals do get passed, firms that do not comply with the law could face fines of around 1% of their global revenues.

Samsung Knox phones and tablets approved for UK Public sector workers
Android has been hugely successful in the commercial market, taking the dominant lead and keeping it for quite some time. However Android has never be known as the most secure mobile platform, keeping many companies wary of adopting Android devices for their workforce. To convince corporates to keep their sensitive data on Android, Samsung has taken it upon themselves to create their own security platform to tackle this particular issue. Called Samsung Knox, it now runs on most of Samsung’s top-end phones and tablets securing the device from the kernel to the application level. Now, the UK government will allow UK public sector workers to use select Samsung phones and tablets following the Knox platform being approved by the Communications and Electronic Security Group (CESG).

This is a big win for Samsung who already takes the lion share of Android sales, in addition to public sectors now being able to choose these devices this could very well have a ripple effect with other corporations seeing this as a sign of maturity for Samsung’s devices in-terms of security and follow suit. Other Android OEMs such as HTC, Sony and LG have a lot of work on their hands if they want to play catch up with Samsung.

Microsoft’s 3D camera cleared to help stroke victims
Microsoft’s Kinect camera was originally introduced into the world as a gaming peripheral but it’s not hard to argue that it’s most interesting application has actually been in healthcare. Jintronix a Montreal based company with a history of motion-based physical rehabilitation has received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its rehab system. The system itself uses Microsoft’s Kinect camera to help stroke victims recover physical functions without any sensors needed to be worn on the body.

The FDA clearance is an important milestone, CEO Shawn Errunza Jintronix said “We’re very excited about receiving FDA clearance, which paves the way for Jintronix to help in the rehabilitation of countless stroke victims,”
The technology behind this, although impressive and with allot of clever applications already delivered is due for a big overhaul as version 2 nears release. We can only imagine what visionary developers will be able to design when the new Kinect for Windows roles out soon.

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