The EU’s Path to Cloud Regulation

Pymnts.com,  Monday, February 23, 2015

By the end of 2015, Europe could change the way data is transferred across its Member States. The European Commission is knee-deep in exploring cloud computing regulations that would span the EU, but cloud technology often sparks fear of privacy breaches – especially within small businesses. The way B2B does business in Europe could change significantly with these cloud computing rules, and the Commission will need to juggle the concerns and needs of the industry as it looks to rain the benefits of the cloud upon all businesses.

Google Agrees to Spot Checks by Italian Privacy Regulators

Alistair Barr and Sam Schechner, WSJ Digits,  Friday, February 20, 2015

A spokesman for the Italian authority said this is the first time in Europe that Google will be subject to regular checks to monitor progress. The regulator will get quarterly updates from Google and the ability to send a privacy officer for “on-the-spot checks” at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., offices. The regulator hasn’t decided yet how often it will visit the campus, the spokesman said. “It’s very troubling that Google needed the threat of legal action before it agreed to change its privacy policy to become more transparent about its data mining and profiling practices,” said Bradley Shear, an attorney specializing in privacy law. He questioned whether Google will voluntarily implement the same privacy measures elsewhere.

Safe Harbor's Final Reckoning May Begin Next Month

Sam Pfeifle, IAPP,  Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Late last week, Max Schrems, the Austrian law student who began Europe-v-Facebook and has seen his suit against the Irish DPA regarding Facebook's handling of his data forwarded all the way to the European Court of Justice, posted a somewhat cryptic tweet... Contacted directly, Schrems could only say that he'd been given a "heads up" from the courts and that he's bound by court rules that don't allow for public statements that might be construed as trying to influence public opinion around the case. As a refresher, at issue is whether U.S. intelligence programs, such as PRISM, which involve sharing by U.S. companies of EU citizen data with organizations like the NSA, violate the fundamental rights of those EU citizens. If the ECJ finds that they do, then Safe Harbor could be invalidated as a program for cross-border data transfer between the EU and U.S.

Google defends its use of data, points finger at governments

Business Cloud News,  Monday, February 16, 2015

Google’s senior vice president communications and public policy Rachel Whetstone has defended the company’s evolving strategy on collecting and managing personal data, but said governments need to reform how they seek data from private firms and one another. She also said Google’s progressive policy on encryption “requires governments to go through the proper legal channels” for customer data, and hit out at how governments secure data from one another and private firms across borders for law enforcement purposes including surveillance. “The MLAT process is too slow, too complicated and in need of reform,” she said. “Europe is leading the way here. We now need the US to follow suit.”

US lawmakers propose reforms to limit government’s reach over cloud data

Business Cloud News (UK),  Friday, February 13, 2015

This would effectively force the US and other countries it currently has treaty agreements with which focus on or impact data sharing between countries (Safe Harbour, or MLAT, for instance) to lean more heavily on those treaties for regulatory clarity, while allowing for local providers to defer to legislation in their home countries in the event of a conflict between legal frameworks – even if the firm located outside the US is a subsidiary of an American company.

Proposed US law could deal knockout blow to FBI in overseas cloud privacy ding-dongs

Iain Thomson, The Register,  Friday, February 13, 2015

"The government’s position that ECPA warrants do apply abroad puts US cloud providers in the position of having to break the privacy laws of foreign countries in which they do business in order to comply with U.S. law. This not only hurts our businesses’ competitiveness and costs American jobs, but it also invites reciprocal treatment by our international trading partners." - Senator Chris Coons

EU mulls new rules to free up the cloud market

Phil Wainewright, Diginomica,  Thursday, February 12, 2015

So what’s new? The topline messaging is all about achieving the long-awaited ‘digital single market’ that sweeps away national barriers to delivering cloud services across Europe, especially for small businesses. This isn’t new in itself although there’s a hint of increased urgency this year to complete this project. At the same time, the Commission continues to maintain that the cloud market will only take off if clear standards are defined, on the grounds that businesses won’t buy into cloud without some certainty about what exactly is guaranteed.

A Cautionary Government Cloud Story--UK's G-Cloud. Does The "G" Stand For Gone?

Ben Kepes, Forbes,  Tuesday, January 27, 2015

All would appear, however, to not be well with the G-Cloud. This despite the program seemingly proving very effective. Indeed total G-Cloud sales amounted to £270m by the end of September 2014, averaging £22m a month. That’s more than double the £120m sales predicted by 2014/15 by the inaugural program director, Denise McDonagh, back in 2012. Despite this success however the initiative is being rebranded as a “Digital Marketplace” and the rebrand includes an overhaul of the back end platform that powers the marketplace. It seems that the pressure is on to morph G-Cloud into a much broader digital services store – perhaps a noble idea but one which will take the focus away from the simply, but highly effective, G-Cloud.

Interview: Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s new competition chief

Lewis Crofts, MLex,  Friday, January 23, 2015

In an exclusive interview with MLex, Margrethe Vestager talks of her political past in Denmark and of her plans as European Commissioner for Competition. She explains the need for fair tax policies, the power of data in technology markets, and the prospect of a sector-wide antitrust inquiry. This interview examines topics including: •The ongoing antitrust investigation into Google and the pending cases of “tax deals” concerning Apple, Amazon and Starbucks •The European Commission’s review of companies buying minority stakes •Vestager’s view on data as the “new currency of the Internet” and its impact on privacy

Safety, Privacy, and the Internet Paradox: Solutions at Hand and the Need for new Trans-Atlantic Rules

Microsoft Europe,  Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Today at the Center for European Policy Studies, Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president, legal and corporate affairs, Microsoft, delivered remarks and participated in a panel discussion on the subject of Trust, data and national sovereignty: solutions for a connected world.