Feeds

Brussels talks clouds and privacy

Steely Neelie warns on security

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, warned yesterday that moves to cloud computing must not endanger citizens' rights to privacy and proper data protection.

neelie kroes

Neelie Kroes: Cloud companies need EC's "help"

to "know exactly what is allowed and what is not".

Kroes told the Université Paris-Dauphine that putting personal data on remote servers risked losing control of that data. She said the Commission was funding research to strengthen data protection but it was important that such security was put first when designing such systems.

She said legal systems also needed to adjusted as data increasingly flows out of the European Union to the rest of the world.

She said laws within the community needed to allow the free movement of data, as part of the Digital Single Market. But being "cloud-friendly" did not mean Europe should ignore security considerations.

She added that many cloud companies are small and medium businesses that needed help "to know exactly what is allowed and what is not".

Kroes said that some international companies assert that European privacy laws are merely a protectionist stance to favour local providers and to hold back the development of cloud computing.

She said this was untrue and used the car industry as a metaphor. She said that people mainly build cars to provide mobility, but that doesn't mean we should ignore safety features such as brakes and seatbelts.

Security and data protection were similarly "must-have" features of any cloud, she said.

She said European citizens and businesses should know two things about their cloud supplier - that they follow European data protection standards in a transparent way and secondly that places "where the cloud touches the earth" - the countries where the company's servers are located - have proper legal frameworks in place to enforce such standards.

The European Commission is collecting feedback on proposed improvements to European data protection.

Kroes said: "In conclusion, I wish to say to you that cloud computing may indeed become one of the backbones of our digital future. Securing workable data protection will help us to give shape to that digital future. Let us keep up the conversation about these and other digital issues. If we do that, we will deliver the better economy and better living that digital technologies make possible."

Kroes' full speech on cloud security is here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.