Monday

25th May 2020

EU clouds two years behind US, says IT report

  • EU cloud computing lags two years behind the US according to a leading IT research firm. (Photo: Jonathas Rodrigues)

EU cloud computing will lag two years behind the US due to European privacy rules and the eurozone crisis, said a report on the future of cloud computing released on Friday (1 June) by US technology research company Gartner.

Paolo Malinverno, vice-president at Gartner, commented that "the opportunities for cloud computing value are valid all over the world, and the same is true for some of the risks and costs. However, some of cloud computing’s potential risks and costs — namely security, transparency and integration — take on a different meaning in Europe.”

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Regulating cloud computing, where the Internet and software programmes offer numerous ways to cheaply store huge amounts of data, is one of the aims behind Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding’s proposal launched in January to overhaul the EU’s data protection legislation.

The package is now under consideration in the Parliament’s civil liberties committee and will be piloted by Green MEP Jan-Philip Albrecht, with both the Commission and Parliament hoping to secure a deal in the autumn.

Gartner analysts argue that the slow process of EU law-making, coupled with different levels of harmonisation and implementation by member states, will hamper the EU cloud market. Referring to the ongoing euro crisis, they claimed that it had "deep IT implications, because increasing uncertainty about the euro is causing major investments to be put on hold". In a paper also released on Friday (1 June), fellow IT research body Visiongain put the global cloud market at $37.9bn for 2012.

Meanwhile, cyber experts speaking last Thursday (31 May) at a meeting of the European Parliament's Privacy Platform claimed that outdated data laws put in place before the Internet age increase the ability of governments, corporations and hackers to access sensitive personal information.

Jim Dempsey, Vice-President of US think-tank the Centre for Democracy and Technology (CDT) urged EU and US legislators to work together to “catch up on privacy law in the digital age”. He referred to the fact that existing US laws adopted in 1986 preclude government interception of communications without a court order from the judge, but allow access to data in storage. The EU's data protection legislation was last updated in 1995.

One of the key questions facing politicians in the EU and US concerns the extent of government access to data stored in the cloud. Both the US Congress and UK government have attracted controversy this year over their respective attempts to increase the access of law authorities and the military to personal email and mobile text messages.

Liberal MEP Sophie In’t Veld, who chairs the Privacy Platform, stated that while there was “no ideological divide” on cloud computing the main aim of the new regulation should be to protect individuals from data breaches and overbearing government intervention.

Fellow panellist Sebastian Meissner, of data privacy think-tank Article 29, called on law-makers to draw up clear rules on data sharing between governments and third country data access.

Germany leads EU countries on cloud computing

Five EU countries rank among the world’s top ten for policies that promote cloud computing, according to a study published on Wednesday by an ICT body representing Microsoft and other international software giants.

Pressure mounts on EU cloud deal as deadline looms

The European Commission is under pressure to keep to its self-imposed September deadline to publish an EU cloud computing strategy, as new evidence revealed widespread public confusion about it.

Column

That German court ruling hurts EU rule-of-law fightback

The short-term damage to financial markets may be smaller than feared. The damage to democracy is considerable because it weakened the ECJ - the most effective institution to stop attacks against democracy and rule of law in EU member states.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  3. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers call for post-corona synergies between economic recovery and green transition
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic co-operation on COVID-19
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic research collaboration on pandemics

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking Europe’s Economy Circular – the time is now
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  3. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us