Wednesday, August 3, 2011


In Europe more and more organisations are abstaining from the cloud, according to a report by a leading newspaper, due to the reach of the Patriot Act in Europe and further afield.

According to the Financial Times (available via Google without registering), the discussions were brought up during private FT meetings last month, and data privacy and cloud services topped the concerns of IT bosses.

During the Office 365 launch in London in June, Microsoft admitted to ZDNet that any data stored, processed or owned in Europe and further afield — including email, file storage and web applications — are liable for U.S. government inspection under the Patriot Act.

The FT’s report is crucial to understand the feeling in the wider room amongst IT chiefs. As many are data controllers as well as processors of the data, it could lead to civil or criminal action against cloud users for mismanagement of data.

Due to the disparity between European and U.S. law, wholly-owned subsidiaries cannot comply with the European Data Protection Directive — which requires companies to inform their users that data will leave the European zone — because U.S. law can ‘gag’ them with existing legislation.

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