The European Parliament recently sent a letter to the U.S. government expressing its concerns on the U.S. government’s demands on U.S. companies to deliver (privacy sensitive) data stored in Europe to the U.S. enforcement and security agencies when so requested. U.S. court cases concerning this topic are confusing and contradictory, the stance of the U.S. government as such is not. Neither is the privacy law of the E.U. A clear case of non-compatible laws.
What surprises me is that Europe in general always complains about the dependence on U.S. cyber moguls. If this demand of the U.S. government shows anything, than it is opportunities for E.U. cloud and data companies to step into the void the U.S. companies are about to leave behind.
It is a fair question whether, due to the restricting rules of GDPR, the amount of privacy sensitive data stored today can ever be as big as it presently is. Fact is that the data companies want to store need to be compliant with E.U. privacy laws. Where better to store this data than within Europe with companies that assist their customers to be compliant?
So people let’s stop complaining and expressing concerns and step into the market, head up high and grab the opportunities presented for free by an unbending U.S. government.
The E.P. focused in its letter on the risk of splitting up the Internet because of the U.S.’s actions. The Internet is already splitting as actions of different eastern countries show. It may be time that the E.U. starts to prepare for something that might be inevitable. Even if it is just in case or as a case study. It’s always better to be well prepared. Boosting an industry is one such preparatory step in that direction and economically sound to.
Wout de Natris
Haarlem, 2 February 2018