The EU Changes Data Laws to Benefit Cloud … – Online Storage
One of the hurdles standing in the way of full migration to the Cloud3 has nothing to do with technology. Rather it concerns the maze of rules and regulations concerning data privacy. These can vary drastically from one nation to the next. For example, China lags behind in its adoption of the Cloud because its intellectual property laws are notoriously weak and poorly enforced.
A similar situation currently exists in the European Union, which consists of 27 individual nations with inconsistent and sometimes contradictory statutes regarding how information should be handled and protected. The difficulties in conducting intra-continental business in such a confusing legal landscape are enormous. Polls have shown that in excess of 70% of Europeans are reluctant to do business online, due to concerns over how safe their information is.
All of this will change if Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission, has her way. She has proposed a sweeping new set of regulations that will standardize how data integrity and privacy is maintained across the EU.
Her proposal includes measures to ensure the following:
- That people will be informed about how their data will be used. This will be spelled out in plain, simple language. They will know what information has been stored, the purposes why it was done, and how long it will be kept.
- That no personal data can be used without the person s explicit consent. This will include emails, photos, contact lists, personal identifiers such as account numbers, etc.
- That customers will have the right to be forgotten, as she puts it. This entails their right to have their information erased from databases of companies they no longer have dealings with. They will also be able to either withhold that data from other sources or transfer it different service providers, as they wish.
These measures are not intended only for consumer protection, however. They will also benefit businesses by giving them a single, comprehensible set of rules to play by. These new rules will also slash the copious amounts of red tape that companies currently have to contend with, enabling them to deal only with the data protection authorities in their particular EU country. Finally, they will clarify procedures for international data transfers, making the process the same in Peking as it is in Paris.
Reding envisions businesses being able to market products and services across the 500 million people who live in EU countries, while both protecting data4 and making transactions efficient and hassle-free. For the sake of future economic growth in Europe, I hope her vision becomes reality.
About the Author
Bill Wilson is an accomplished freelance writer, with two books published and a variety of articles and short stories in print. He s also an A+ certified computer tech and a lover of all things high-tech. Read other articles by Bill Wilson on OnlineStorage.com here6.
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