Cloud providers voice concern over new EU data protection plans

The EU is in the process of drafting a new set of regulations which are designed to provide data protection across all member states. But there are fears that the rules may lead to problems for the firms which offer cloud computing to customers across the continent, according to Computing.co.uk.

Various major cloud vendors have come out to make public statements about the potential impact of the regulations. They are arguing that the powers being given to individuals to take legal action against the companies which store and process their personal data, will damage the industry immensely.

Cloud providers will also face steep fines under the new rules if they are found to have broken any part of the data protection legislation. Rather than charging a flat fee, the regulatory body will have the ability to fine organisations based on their annual turnover, which could lead to astronomical sums being paid.

Critics fear that cloud computing may well be seriously compromised as a result of the regulations, which have taken three years to be finalised. And it is not just providers from the US that are critical of the EU’s plans, but also companies based in Germany and other countries.

The intent of the EU is to make sure that the regulations governing data protection are unified across all member states, which it argues will also help to increase economic growth, in spite of the protests being made by tech firms.

Current data protection regulations do not hold cloud providers accountable for the information they store because they process it but do not collect it. The EU wants this to change, so that there is a level of liability in the market not currently available, as a result of existing rules being formulated long before the cloud was widespread.