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European watchdogs unit to investigate public sector cloud use

by on15 February 2022

Worried about privacy 

European privacy watchdog is launching a joint investigation with 22 national regulators into the use of cloud-based services by the public sector to check if they comply with its privacy safeguards.

The investigations will cover over 80 public bodies across the European Economic Area, including EU institutions, covering sectors such as health, finance, tax, education and providers of IT services), The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) said.

At the nub of the issue is that a lot of public cloud use is based around US cloud computing companies such as Amazon's AWS, Google, Oracle and Microsoft's Azure. All of them have been flat out building centres across Europe in response to growing demand from private- and public-sector organisations. The main reason is to avoid shipping the data to the US where it can be snuffled up by US spooks.

The US has legislation which that allows disproportionate surveillance activities by the US authorities which would not be allowed in the EU, but at least they dont have to pay any tax to the UK government for tea.  

But this has not really happened fast enough. The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a digital transformation of many public sector organisations and they may face difficulties in obtaining products and services that comply with EU data protection rules, the EU body said in a statement.

 European Union's landmark General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to protect the privacy rights of EU individuals and applies to all companies processing or controlling the personal information of EU residents.

The European Data Protection Supervisor, last year opened investigations on European Commission and European Parliament's use of cloud computing services provided by Amazon and Microsoft over concerns about the transfer of personal data to the United States.

The EDPB will publish a report on the outcome of this analysis before the end of 2022.



Last modified on 15 February 2022
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