Data location for Cloud services moves to top of agenda
Up-to now, data jurisdiction has largely taken a back seat, with people being more interested in chasing down the lowest cost Cloud Computing or hosting deal. However, that is now changing as people realise that the location of their data and cloud services really does matter.
For the first time in a decade, the majority of Americans are more concerned about the government infringing on their civil liberties than about a potential terrorist attack, according to a new poll by Pew Research. Since the ‘Edward Snowden case’ revelations of leaked National Security Agency (NSA) documents, new lawsuits are being filed daily against the United States government in federal courts and President Barack Obama and the preceding administration are being charged with vast constitutional violations alleged to have occurred through the NSA spy programs.
The issue isn’t that people have anything to hide, it’s the ‘big brother’ feeling of being watched. Imagine if the Government installed a video camera in your lounge – you wouldn’t like it - not because you’d be doing anything illegal, but because you wouldn’t want to be watched.
The issue isn’t just about personal email and websites, it’s also about companies and their client data. These clients are trusting their data and transactions to the service provider, but knowing that the provider’s Government has open access now questions this trust.
In the USA, Forbes estimates that the ‘Prism effect’ on the revenues of US Cloud Computing service providers could be as high as $180 billion or 25% in the period to 2016. It’s clear that clients are not comfortable with the USA as a hosting location.
There are technical solutions that will help, such as encryption whilst the data is both in transit and at rest (in storage). However, the fundamental need is a location with a stable Government, a strong economy, a Government that doesn’t monitor Internet traffic or have automatic access to it, has strong data protection laws and has a clear process that is followed if another location requests data access.
So where is this nirvana? It’s time to look seriously at Jersey (not New Jersey), the island between England and France that is already home to established and mature hosting and Cloud services. Click here for more information on Jersey.