Europe looks at regulating the cloud

According to the New York Times, “The European Union wants to regulate the cloud even if that makes its use more complicated. One proposed amendment would require ‘all transfers of data’ from a cloud in the European Union to a cloud maintained in the United States or elsewhere to ‘be accompanied with a notification to the data subject of such transfer and its legal effects.’”

While many consider this a reaction to the NSA scandal, this has actually been in the works for some time.  The European Union is concerned about the movement to mostly US-based cloud-based platforms, including the privacy issues that the movement to cloud computing raises for the privacy-oriented European countries.

There is more drama forthcoming.  “The European Commission is considering imposing sanctions on companies that turn over records to American law enforcement authorities if the move violates European privacy regulations.”

Clearly, this is a pushback on the perceptions that the US government is culling through data contained in the clouds, perhaps, in some cases, rightfully so.  It will be interesting when these laws are tested, such as the European Union issuing sanctions on a company that is complying with a US-based court order.  Talk about a rock and the hard place.

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David S. Linthicum

SVP Cloud Technology Partners

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