European Commission presses for unified vision in cloud data protection laws

 

The EC’s Head of Software, Services & Cloud Computing, Pearse O’Donohue, spoke of his frustration with legislative barriers from individual member states around their differing data protection laws.  These variations, in O’Donohue’s view, are thwarting an increased uptake of off-premise cloud technologies.

Speaking at the Datacloud Europe Event in Monaco this week, O’Donohue argued in favour of the proposed EC Digital Single Market. This would, he said, make it easier and cheaper for start ups and enterprises to do business across Europe using cloud services, in turn increasing economic productivity, GDP and job creation.

“We need to ensure providers and users have access to the full European market, and the services are in competition with each other, which leads to greater innovation and lower cost,” said O’Donohue.

However, companies may be prohibited from using certain services or selling their wares to other EC states because of differences in consumer protection laws and data sovereignty issues.  Allied to this, shipping costs can prohibit procurement deals between countries, whilst website blocks are sometimes employed to prevent consumers purchasing goods and services from other member states.

In seeking a freeflow of data, O’Donohue says:  “The biggest single contribution we can make is to remove existing national laws to ensure there is one marketplace…. We seek, other than for legitimate reasons of personal data protection or matters of national security, to remove those barriers. That is a key issue for us if we are to talk about a single digital market”.  

In the UK, whilst the Government presses for deployment of digital services across the public sector, they have a remit to use UK companies governed by various tendering frameworks (like the new RM1058 framework for Technology Services which Amicus ITS is on). These, along with the new Crown Hosting data centres will ringfence UK data to ensure that there is no fallout from sovereignty issues relating to core personal data.    While this may deal with data sovereignty across the EU and in many member states, what impact would this have on the major global providers?

Amicus ITS working with partners can enable the use of global, trusted and recognised brand software platforms while ensuring UK data sovereignty is maintained.

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