AWS and Azure, new objective of the European Union’s privacy supervisor

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Privacy in Europe is much stricter than in other parts of the world, and that causes controversy when European companies use cloud services from the United States.

What about the data? Can the United States spy on the information of European companies that upload their activity to the cloud?

Those are some of the questions that the European Union’s privacy supervisor, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), is asking, a body that is now examining whether the main institutions and agencies of the bloc effectively protect the personal data of citizens when they use the cloud services of AWS from Amazon and Azure from Microsoft, although in a separate investigation it will also analyze whether the use of Microsoft Office 365 by the European Commission complies with data protection laws.

National laws in the US do not coincide with the data protection requirements established by the GDPR in Europe, and that means that the personal data of EU citizens cannot be processed securely across the Atlantic. As the infrastructure is now in place, personal data about customers or employees, for example, may potentially be available for US authorities to view by asking the companies responsible for storage.

To allow business to continue, the Privacy Shield was created, to override the scheme that was in effect and thus allow personal data to flow freely between the block and the US, but Standard Contractual Clauses (CEC) are necessary. ) for each data transfer.

It is those contracts that require special attention, which is why they have launched these two investigations that aim to help SUIs improve data protection compliance when negotiating contracts with their service provider.

The companies responsible for the data have already taken some steps. Microsoft, for example, has committed to allowing EU customers to store and process most of their data within the EU by the end of 2022.

The EU is working on being independent in this regard, in data infrastructure and cloud services, as the majority of the European cloud market is controlled by Amazon, Microsoft, Google and other companies from outside the continent. Hence the idea of ​​GAIA-X was born, but we will leave that for another article.

You can read more on the subject at zdnet.com.