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Impact of the Allegations Surrounding the NSA Spying on Cloud Privacy

Merkel is calling for stronger Internet technology in Germany to address the fact all major data centers are in the U.S. & China

The latest headlines in the ongoing surveillance soap opera focus on the revelation that the U.S. has been eavesdropping directly on German Prime Minister Angela Merkel. The reaction in Germany has been strong with many officials publically condemning the surveillance.

After the NSA's activity first came to light, many in Europe called for stricter protection of EU data and privacy rights. But now, Merkel is calling for stronger Internet technology in Germany, specifically to address the fact all major data centers are in the U.S. and China.

It isn't clear exactly how these latest developments will further impact German and other EU countries' usage of U.S. cloud service providers. Germany already has some of the strictest data privacy regulations in the world. Known as BDSG, German regulations include restrictions on how personal information is collected, requiring explicit permission from individuals. BDSG also requires a more formalized structure for data transfers across the German border.

And some are now proposing that the movement of sensitive personal data "in the clear" from Germany to countries outside of the EU may become illegal. Enterprises and cloud service providers are anxiously awaiting new regulatory steps anticipated to strengthen and reinforce some of Germany's already established policies. It is precisely these sorts of regulations that have led some industry analysts to question the traction that U.S. cloud providers will have in Europe in the future (see our earlier blog: Another Shoe Drops - Implications of the NSA's Violation of its own Privacy Rules for U.S. Cloud Providers).

What we highlight though in our recent infographic is that while all of this surveillance is grabbing the headlines, it is only symptomatic of a larger issue - handing control of sensitive information over to external service providers. Whether the risks are associated with hacking and cybercrime or they are focused on data privacy and compliance, the costs to the enterprise of not ensuring that they take the appropriate steps to secure their sensitive data in cloud environments can be staggering.

For organizations hoping to implement cloud application services in Germany and other EU countries, navigating an already complex group of regulations is becoming more complicated. We believe organizations should be able to securely and privately utilize any cloud provider they prefer, U.S. or otherwise. Cloud Encryption Gateways, specifically ones offering strong tokenization options for keeping data resident, are one way enterprises can keep sensitive data in-house and out of the hands of any outside surveillance or spying.

For more information on the data privacy and sharing regulations other countries around the world already have in place, visit our resource center.

Read the original blog entry...


PerspecSys Inc. is a leading provider of cloud protection and cloud encryption solutions that enable mission-critical cloud applications to be adopted throughout the enterprise. Cloud security companies like PerspecSys remove the technical, legal and financial risks of placing sensitive company data in the cloud. PerspecSys accomplishes this for many large, heavily regulated companies across the world by never allowing sensitive data to leave a customer's network, while maintaining the functionality of cloud applications. For more information please visit http://www.perspecsys.com/ or follow on Twitter @perspecsys.

More Stories By David Stott

As Senior Director, Product Management at PerspecSys, David Stott leads efforts to ensure products and services meet market requirements. he works closely with multiple internal teams and client stakeholders to develop excellent customer experiences and advance the strategic product direction. He is an experienced product management and marketing professional with a successful record of aligning market needs and opportunities with product requirements, functionality, and go-to-market strategies. David joined PerspecSys from Covarity and has also held product management and marketing leadership roles with Angoss Software, ADP, and Ironside Technologies.

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