New European data protection legislation could benefit cloud providers

30 janvier 2012

The European Commission recently finalized its much-anticipated data protection proposal, which it hopes will improve data security across Europe and increase cross-border commerce.

According to a CSO report, European cloud providers could significantly benefit from the ubiquitous legislation. The new data protection standards include language regarding the right of consumers to force third parties to delete their private data unless there are "legitimate" grounds for maintaining it. However, if data is hosted by an American provider, the information is still subject to U.S. laws like the Patriot Act.

Andy Burton, chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum, told the source that this loophole could cause enterprises and consumers to do more business with European cloud providers, who can guarantee their confidential information is safe and will be deleted in a satisfactory manner upon request.

"It's a very emotive issue, and I would argue that people are currently more concerned than informed. It also comes back to that sense that people want to work with organizations that they trust," Burton said, adding that cloud vendors who can provide customers with the ability to monitor exactly where their data is stored will be more successful in the European cloud market.

The report said the cloud computing industry has generally had positive reactions to the European Union's proposed data protection legislation. Only days after Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding unveiled the data security standards, the commission launched the European Cloud Partnership, a working group of cloud experts, users and providers assembled to devise universal industry standards and security rules for EU member states.

Cloud computing is quickly becoming a popular IT solution throughout the world, as many companies in nearly every industry are realizing the technology can reduce costs and increase efficiency. According to a recent study by the Invest in France Agency, the French cloud market expanded from €1.85 in 2010 to more than €2 billion last year.

-McAfee Cloud Security