Cloud computing regulations were implemented this year by the European Parliament, after the introduction of the digital privacy regulation in 2012.
Cloud computing is a modern technology that allows people to share large amounts of data over the Internet, between multiple computers and networks.
The European Parliament has modified its privacy regulations regarding the use of this technology and extended the digital privacy regulation to cover this aspect as well. This happened prior to the statements made by Edward Snowden about the spying performed by the National Security Agency.
Today, cloud computing is used in almost any business, organization or government activity. Anything people do on the web, no matter if this means sending emails or storing data, cloud computing is a normal component of digital life.
The technology is successfully used for mobile devices as well and can help people to share documents, while the costs that are usually involved in a business can decrease. There is only one disadvantage: even if he data that is sent through cloud, mobile devices and tablets is well encrypted, it is still vulnerable to snooping.
There is a solution for this, which can be to regulate the cloud and it belongs
to the European Union. Cloud computing regulations began to be discussed in
Brussels after news have been released about the monitoring performed by the
American spy agency. The intention of the European Union is regulating the
cloud, despite the fact that this could make it more complicated.
One of the discussed solutions is adding a notification to the data subject that would contain information about the legal implications of the transfer. This notification must be added to any data that is transferred to the United States in the cloud, from a cloud in the European Union.
This was only one of the amendments, because another says that such a transfer
is not even allowed until it meets certain requirements. For example, the
subject of the data must provide consent and the information must be contained
regarding the fact that the data can be read by intelligence and surveillance
Differences could exist between two laws: the American one and the
European one. Sanctions have been decided for those who use American
authorities for matters that belong to European authorities.
American diplomats had success in the past to eliminate an amendment from the initial data privacy regulation. Today, lawmakers are trying to bring that amendment back, as it could make guidelines for court orders that belong to ther countries than the ones in the European Union a must.
According to this amendment, those who operate data servers have to inform the subject of the request and also a monitoring authority. In Brussels, more than one track seems to exist regarding the cloud computing regulations matter. But, all of them focus on the same thing: serious regulations that can control the way data is released and transferred.
Before the next month of May, when the European elections will take place, a
new regulation should be available. Neelie Kroes, who is the vice president of
the European Commission that handles telecommunication and information policy,
said that European citizens must not be worried for the safety of their data,
because this will not help them embrace this technology.
Also, the justice minister of the European Commission, Viviane Reding, declared that she wants new and strict standards for European clouds. This could be achieved if data is held only in clouds that belong to the European jurisdiction.
Thierry Breton, who was the finance minister of France and the chief executive of Atos (an information technology company in France) had the idea of implementing a “Schengen for data“, considering the same principle that permits people who live in the euro zone to cross any border in the area, without the need for a passport.
There is one issue: questions could arise in the case in which a virtual free trade zone for data is created. One of Thierry Breton’s spokesmen said that the declaration of the former finance minister was not referring to protectionism, but that it was meant to ensure customers can get the protection level that they need for their data in Europe.
It is not known what the true implications of European clouds will be, but it
is known that in Europe there are data centers belonging to large cloud
services from America. Also, there are data centers in America that belong to
Both of these types of data centers can be vulnerable to the laws in
the territory in which they reside. In 2012, the European Cloud Partnership was
created, with the purpose of promoting cloud computing and it is managed by
some public officials and executives in the industry. One of these figures,
Reinhard Posch (from Austria) said that the focus of Europe should be on
creating a single market for cloud computing that will work well.
Posch also tried to explain his words and mentioned there is no need for
putting boundaries. Instead of taking about where the data is stored, the focus
should be more on increasing the level of security for the data. The general
counsel of the United States Commerce Department said that it would be sad to
have a garden full of walls and every gate to be locked while governments hold
This is what the situation will lead to if data must be kept on a
server that is located in the residential area of the owner. He compares this
situation a thing that in China already exists and is called the *Great
Firewall*. This is a thing that Europe or any other places don’t need. The
policy manager of Digital Europe, Anna-Verenna Naether says that the approach
in Europe must not be the one of a “fortress”.
A partner of a law firm from London that has implemented cloud services, Mark Taylor declares that he is really concerned about the economical aspects of
this matter and that things must not go too far. The current economic situation
may not allow too many steps to be taken and that people should do this
carefully. Anything that could have a bigger economic impact should be avoided.
What possibly led to this is the fact that US security agencies keep spying on EU officials and countries in addition to Patriot Act, which allows US government to access the data of big cloud computing companies on servers which are not even located on US soil. Ninefold, Australian major cloud services provider, warned about this earlier making example out of Amazon Australia and stating that Australians shoud fear their privacy.
Original source: PRWire