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Brexit and data sovereignty

Brexit and data sovereignty

The only certainty about the Brexit result is that the UK’s exit from the European Union is going to create uncertainty, for data sovereignty.

The protection of data will be one of these ‘cloudy’ areas to watch.

What is data sovereignty?

data sovereigntyData sovereignty refers to data being held in a different country and how it complies with the laws of that location in which it is held. Data sovereignty can be quite simple to monitor when all your information is stored in one country, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage when it’s stored in multiple locations. For many businesses keeping all your business information in one location is impossible, especially with common issues such as cloud sprawl.

What is the impact of Brexit and the EU?

Collectively, all countries tied within the European Union have the same data sovereignty laws as each other. By voting to leave the European Union, the UK has divided itself, resulting in companies operating in Europe potentially having to manage one set of data laws for the UK and another for EU member countries. Unless the UK continues to follow the new EU regulations, relevant companies could lose the ability to process European data in the UK.

What is the impact on cloud computing?

64% of organisations cite the issue of compliance, auditing, and privacy as the biggest security challenge associated with cloud computing. Cloud computing revolves around accessing information from remote data centres, often in different countries, adhering to different data sovereignty laws.

Cloud providers may now have to offer additional options for customers, as it’s increasingly important for enterprise users to consider where their data is stored in order to protect it.

For example, if a business is working with a UK cloud provider, but the data is hosted by an American company, the data adheres to American data sovereignty laws. This means that all data stored is subject to the U.S. Patriot Act and can be accessed by the U.S. Government without the company’s permission or notification.