U.S. to Slap Smartphone Maker ZTE With Parts Export Restrictions

Today's topics include export restrictions imposed on Chinese smartphone maker ZTE by U.S. trade regulators, Google's about-face on its approach to the EU "Right to Be Forgotten" mandate, why Amazon is bringing back Fire device encryption and Samsung's collaboration with the American Cancer Society and Breezie.

Chinese smartphone and telecom equipment maker ZTE, which allegedly violated U.S. laws by shipping parts from U.S. technology companies to Iran in recent years, is slated to be hit with export restrictions by the U.S. Commerce Department as a punishment. The pending export restrictions will "make it difficult for the company to acquire U.S. products by requiring ZTE's suppliers to apply for an export license before shipping any American-made equipment or parts to ZTE," according to a March 6 article by Reuters.

Starting this week, Google will use a new, broader approach for delisting search results under the Europe Union's "Right to Be Forgotten" mandate. The mandate gives EU residents the right to ask Google and other search engine companies to delist search results that contain inadequate, irrelevant or incorrect information. The move is in response to growing pressure on Google from EU data protection authorities that have been critical of the manner in which the company had implemented the mandate until now.

After customers criticized Amazon for removing encryption from its Fire line of e-readers, tablets and TVs in late 2015, Amazon has reversed course and will bring data encryption back this spring. The concerns from customers follow the ongoing legal wrangling between Apple and the FBI over very tight security measures in Apple's iPhones. The iPhone case has caused many technology users to be more conscious about data security and privacy.

Consumer electronics giant Samsung is making a move into the health IT space by partnering with the American Cancer Society and Breezie, the developer of a secure tablet platform built on Samsung’s KNOX security platform. The company is using its Galaxy Tab devices to create custom applications for patients battling breast cancer through a pilot program at the Athens Medical Center’s Breast Health Center in Athens, Ga.

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