Trump highlights danger of regulatory uncertainty for data privacy

Mateo Meier | February 9, 2017

Even though it is still early days in the President Trump era there have already been, perhaps unsurprisingly, been some troubling moves from the new administration when it comes to data privacy.

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Firstly, one of the new President’s controversial executive orders has potentially jeopardised EU-US Privacy Shield. In trying to bolster protections for US citizens the executive order last week appears to remove protections for Europeans when their data is being handled in the US and EU commissioners are now seeking clarification on the implications for EU citizens.

In the same week Trump has also secured the appointment of Mike Pompeo as CIA director. Pompeo has been a vocal advocate of reinstating many of the invasive mass surveillance powers of the NSA that had been weakened in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations. Furthermore, at his confirmation hearing Pompeo restated that he would seek to increase US security agencies’ ability to collect personal data on citizens.

The USA’s reputation for data privacy was already poor, even before these latest moves, despite the fact that over 35% of the world’s public computing is conducted in the USA, with data giants such as Google, Microsoft and Dropbox locating many of their servers around the country. Artmotion’s own data risk research the US not only fails to make the top ten safest nations, but also fails to fall within the top 25, ranking at 38th, behind Slovakia, Bahrain and Latvia. However, these latest moves are only likely to decrease confidence that the US is a suitable place to host secure data.

More importantly though, what this situation really serves to highlight is the danger of government, legislative and regulatory uncertainty when it comes to data privacy and security. In the age of cloud computing, it’s easy to forget that every piece of information stored still requires a physical home, and that the geographic location of that home can have a serious impact on data privacy. As a result, the legislative environment of a country has a huge impact on the privacy and security that can be guaranteed by any data hosting company.

More than ever, if you are serious about keeping your data truly safe, it is important for businesses and individuals to understand the impact that location can have on the privacy and security of their data.

Mateo Meier
Mateo Meier, founder of Artmotion, spent the early stages of his career over in the US where he became an astute marketing director before returning home to Switzerland to setup Artmotion. Artmotion was started in early 2000 and provides highly bespoke server solutions to an international set of clients.