Privacy, choice and prying eyes in Cloud data

Knowing the physical location of your data, especially in the age of Cloud is very important on a governance level. For example, The Patriot Act compels companies to turn over any data held on US soil to authorities if required – even if this is data stored on behalf of a non-US company. Microsoft’s top lawyer has stated they will let non-US business and government customers choose if they wish to have their data stored outside the US, in one of their European data centres to ringfence their data. Since the announcement, Google’s Eric Schmidt has aired his confusion, stating that US companies’ servers overseas still fall under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) rules. With this in mind Microsoft will need to be clear on the benefits and concerns of non-US companies about having data stored closer to home, as the suggestion is at odds with many of its technology partners and may prove too difficult for Microsoft to make such guarantees.

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