European Commission: Data Location Should Not be of Importance in the Cloud

The cloud does not stop at national boundaries, and that's fine, as long as data is secure
By Sophie Curtis
News Jun 15th 2012

The physical location of sensitive and personal data should not matter, as long as that data is secure, according to the acting Deputy Director General of Information Society and Media for the European Commission.

"The cloud does not stop at national boundaries" said Megan Richards, speaking at the Cloud Computing World Forum conference in London today. By its nature, cloud computing requires data to be portable, which in itself requires a flexible regulatory framework

Richards said that, while the European Commission is working towards this target, there are many international issues at stake, including jurisdiction, liability and data portability. However, she said that it was essential to ensure that the market in Europe is open.

"You shouldn't care where data the is as long as it is secure and meets regulatory requirements, so now the question is how to ensure that - how to make sure that when we use cloud resources, personal data does meet those requirements," Richards told Techworld.

She added that new data protection legislation is currently passing through the European Parliament, as part of its European Cloud Computing Strategy, which will aim to address these issues. The proposals will be finalised within the next year come into effect within the next two and a half years.

Speaking to Techworld earlier this year,'s VP and Head of Platform Research Peter Coffee asserted that the requirement for certain data to remain in certain countries is an artefact of outdated regulation.