On the 1st June 2012, a report on the future of cloud computing was released by the US technology research company Gartner. According to this report, Europe is currently two years behind the US due to European privacy rules and the Euro crisis.
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In January, Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding wrote a proposal about regulations of cloud computing in order to overhaul the EU’s data protection legislation. This proposal is now under consideration in the Parliament’s civil liberties committee and will be piloted by Green MEP Jan-Philip Albrecht.
In the report, the slow process of EU law-making, coupled with different levels of harmonisation and implementation by member states, will constrict the EU cloud market. Another aspect which is restricting the market is the ongoing euro crisis, major IT investments are put on hold.
One of the key questions concerns the extent of government access to data stored in the cloud. Earlier this year, the US Congress and UK government gained controversy, because they were trying to increase the access of law authorities and military to personal emails and mobile text messages.
Liberal MEP Sophie In’t Veld, chair of the Privacy Platform, mentioned that there is “no ideological divide” on cloud computing. Thus, the main aim of the new regulation should be to protect individuals from data breaches and government intervention.
Sebastian Meissner, a fellow panellist of data privacy think-tank Article 29, demanded clear rules on data sharing between governments and third country data access.