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Safe Harbour: my firm uses Google Docs – what do I do now?


"Now that the Safe Harbour agreement is no more, many people and organisations will be wondering where that leaves them in their use of US-owned cloud-based services such as Google Docs, Salesforce, Office 365 and Netflix.

What if their business is based on the cloud, or if their website or payment processing systems have been outsourced to a US-owned firm? Ultimately they are responsible for their users' personal or sensitive data so how can they be sure they are compliant? What if there is a breach?

And what about public sector organisations, who recently have been outsourcing support and back-end services like HR functions to US cloud companies such as Amazon to save money? Do the regulations still apply?

The dust has yet to settle and there are many issues to be worked through by the regulators, but the reality is that the demise of Safe Harbour has not come as a complete surprise, even though the exact timing may have been. What's more, large companies such as Amazon and Google have been building data centres in Europe in anticipation of stronger data privacy laws being passed by the EU. While these are no more safe from the attentions of the NSA than their US-based ones, they are at least compliant with the EU sovereignty rules as they currently stand, provided replicated data also remains within the EU.”


NCC Weekly News Update 13 October 2015 



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