America is no safe harbour when it comes to personal data – in its most recent verdict, the European Court of Justice went on record with an unequivocal statement of what citizens have known for quite some time – even if they do still park their data and photos on Facebook. On the other hand, companies that trust in cloud services that follow European data privacy standards can feel vindicated.
Safe harbour is a waste of paper
Between roughly 4,000 and 5,000 US companies have so far transferred customer data from Europe to America following the Safe Harbour Agreement. However, they can no longer do so just like that: customers have to agree to the practice. The USA and the EU commission, on the other hand, have to find a solution acceptable to both sides. Of course, this doesn’t rule out the possibility that they won’t come to an agreement at all. Perhaps American and European interests on this point are too far apart.
In any case, the ECJ judgment has its upside – and not only because it ends a long debate without the possibility of review and draws consequences out of the NSA affair. Also because it empowers service providers to uphold data protection themselves, even though operating servers in Europe and Germany may be a little more expensive than outside our continental borders.
Advantage: cloud computing made in Germany
At the end of the day, we mustn’t forget: digitalization isn’t stopping anytime soon; the cloud offers far too many advantages for companies to ignore its potential. Data has to go somewhere, and it has to be safe from third-party access, whether by agencies or cyber criminals.
Collaboration, archiving, quicker product development and supply, mobile access to data – all these and many more topics are heavily dependent on the cloud. EASY recognized this a long time ago. When we began to develop the EASY ECM Suite and EASY ECM solutions from the cloud, we already knew: EASY Cloud services would run only on German servers. And that’s the way it should be – ECJ decision or no.