New EU rules set to have an impact on cloud computing

New EU rules set to have an impact on cloud computing

New data protection rules from the European Union (EU) could have a significant impact on the state of Europe's cloud computing industry.

A number of big companies have claimed the new rules, which will allow people to sue companies that own data as well as those that process it on their behalf, could have a detrimental effect on the cloud industry.

IT comes as part of the European Commission's vision of creating a single European market for digital goods and services.

Experts have subsequently expressed fears that the measures could have a significantly damaging impact on the cloud industry.

Consumers will have the ability to withhold data, while the "right to be forgotten" principle that was highlighted by Spanish regulators and enforced on Google last year will also form a key part of the measures.

Meanwhile, a right to data portability will also make it easier for users to transfer personal data between service providers.  

According to EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourouva, the aim of these rules is to ensure that people have greater control over what happens to their data, ensuring that data submitted to companies such as Google and Facebook is not sold on or used for other purposes.

“High data protection standards will strengthen consumers’ trust in digital services, and businesses will benefit from a single set of rules across 28 countries. I am convinced that we can reach a final agreement with the European Parliament and the Council by the end of this year,” she said.

Companies outside of Europe will also have to apply the same rules, if indeed they choose to offer services within the EU.

The rules will be backed up by heavy fines for non-compliance and some companies within the cloud industry claim it could create confusion over how to legally handle data.

According to Reuters, IBM’s vice president of government and regulatory affairs, Liam Benham, said: “It is important that consumers and businesses understand who ultimately is responsible for processing their data.

“Now the EU’s draft Data Protection Regulation risks blurring these lines of responsibility, setting the stage for lengthy and costly legal disputes, which will be perplexing for consumers and businesses alike.”