Thursday

25th May 2017

Snowden scandal to cost US cloud companies billions

  • Reding: Member states are stalling on EU data protection reforms (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

The US cloud industry faces up to €25.8 billion in lost revenues following revelations about US-led snooping on EU citizens.

“The surveillance revelations will cost the US cloud computing industry USD 22 to 35 billion in lost revenues over the next three year,” said EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding on Sunday (19 January) at the Digital Life Design Conference in Munich.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Reding drew her estimates from a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think tank based in Washington.

Global surveillance programmes and the bulk processing of data by the US and UK intelligence agencies means people are losing trust in US-based cloud businesses, says the report.

Cloud computing allows people to store, manage and process personal data via a network of servers hosted on the Internet

The National Security Agency (NSA) is said to have blanket access to personal data held by top US firms like Google and Microsoft through its Prism programme.

The wider snooping scandal prompted US President Barack Obama to launch reforms to increase oversight of the controversial spy programmes.

In a speech last week, Obama said there is no evidence the NSA sought to violate civil liberties.

But he also noted the legal safeguards that restrict surveillance against US citizens without a warrant “do not apply to foreign persons overseas.”

Meanwhile, the value of people’s data in Europe is on the rise.

Estimates by the commission suggest data on EU citizens was worth some €315 billion in 2011 and is likely to increase to €1 trillion by 2020.

“Only if people are willing to give out their personal data will companies reap the full rewards of our digital single market,” said Reding.

Reding said EU data protection reforms - currently under legislative review by member states - would help restore trust by minimising the amount of data stored by businesses and by imposing big fines for unlawful breaches.

EU insiders say the Snowden scandal helped secure a more data-rights friendly reform package in the European Parliament.

The euro-deputies have, for instance, re-inserted an article aiming to end the legal confusion of companies caught between competing US and EU jurisdictions.

But member states in December were reluctant to commit to a key provision in the package that would harmonise decision-making across the bloc and allow people to file data abuse complaints more easily.

“EU heads of state and government have committed to a ‘timely’ adoption of the new framework. But in real terms there has been little action,” said Reding.

Germany, along with the UK, Denmark, Hungary, and Slovenia are said to be delaying the package.

Children among dead in UK bomb attack

Children are among the victims after a suspected suicide bomber detonated at the Manchester Arena on Monday, the latest in a string of terror attacks to hit Europe.

EU and US discuss in-flight laptop ban

A meeting between US and EU officials in Brussels on possibly imposing a laptop ban on commercial flights was described by one senior Trump administration official as "robust".

EU visa waiver looms for Russia-annexed Crimeans

Visa liberalisation for Ukrainians entering the EU will also apply to inhabitants of the peninsula taken over by Moscow in 2014. But the issue poses administrative as well as political problems.

EU visa waiver looms for Russia-annexed Crimeans

Visa liberalisation for Ukrainians entering the EU will also apply to inhabitants of the peninsula taken over by Moscow in 2014. But the issue poses administrative as well as political problems.

News in Brief

  1. British PM to speak out on US terrorism leaks
  2. Tusk calls for 'values, not just interests' after Trump meeting
  3. Pressure grows on climate impact of EU timber harvesting
  4. US goes after Fiat Chrysler over emissions cheat
  5. Munich police break up Europe-wide burglar clan
  6. Report: VW threatened with €19.7 billion French fine
  7. Turkey begins mass trial of suspected coup leaders
  8. Merkel's CDU consolidates lead in polls

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms

Latest News

  1. EU to Trump: Defend Western values, not your interests
  2. Nato to join Trump's anti-IS coalition
  3. Trump expected to make Nato pledge
  4. Car-sharing's promise of clean cities
  5. Openness over Brexit is 'political play', says EU ombudsman
  6. Le Pen's EU group in fresh spending scandal
  7. New EU right to data portability to cause headaches
  8. Cyber threats are inevitable, paralyzing impact is not