When any kind of data is collected, be it in a digital or physical form, it is always subjected to the laws and policies that are governing a particular country. The practices that are implemented by the hosting country are always taken into consideration when it comes to the processing of any kind of data. Data collection has become one of the most important tools for governments across the world. Being able to collect information on its citizens and any other important documentation that one might need has led to the rise of new laws and policies in play in order to protect this data in a better manner.
Cloud computing was one of the bigger reasons why governments across the world realized they needed to step up and implement certain regulations for the protection of its citizens. Cloud computing enables the storage of large amounts of data over a server that is governed by a particular host. Companies and agencies across the world have started to incorporate this in a manner that lets them process the information that they would need. This means that some of the biggest corporations in the world are storing information on a medium that is entirely digital, and something that can potentially be misused or compromised.
While cloud computing has indeed made the processing and storage of information significantly easier than it ever was, there is no doubt that this is something that poses a certain amount of risks. With the large volumes of information here, Governments have felt the need to step in and take certain measures to improve the manner in which these places work. One firm aspect of this development was the idea that a certain amount of data sovereignty had to be established in order to take care of the issues that were being faced.
The Implication For Cloud Users
One of the biggest concerns that companies have been facing with regard to their cloud-based interactions and stored data is the sovereignty that they have to partake in. The concept behind this is that whenever any kind of information is stored in some kind of cloud or server, the government of that particular country has jurisdiction over it. This also means that only information that is within the legal bounds of that country can be stored on the cloud. While keeping illegal activity off the cloud is beneficial in more ways than one, handing over company records, especially in the case of private firms is not exactly ideal.
There have been numerous instances in which Governments have tried to claim a certain amount of data from servers that are located within the territory that they have control over. Several governments across the world have also been known to make requests based on the information that they have access to. States are now in a position wherein they are empowering themselves to be able to seize any kind of information, thereby giving them control over this incredibly powerful section of the digital world.
While there have been several companies who have opposed to the data control regulations that governments have been implementing, complying with these policies seems to be one of the best courses of action for corporates to take in the present situation. Noncompliance of this results in a number of unwanted attention and hindrances and has even led to disastrous consequences for several companies in certain ruling states.
Businesses have now also started to see the importance of pairing up with a good cloud provider. Corporates across the world are now trying to find ways in which their information can be kept in the most secure manner possible, but which also complies with the policies set down by their individual governments.
Why Is Data Sovereignty So Important?
Data has become one of the most important assets to companies across the world. No matter what country you travel to, you are always going to find companies that need a certain amount of data to be able to carry out their work or to perform certain functions that they are required to do. Data is constantly being generated and exchanged with the world that we live in, which is also why it has become so important to store it in the right manner. The digital systems that we have in play assist us well in this regard, and enable the better storage of information on a larger basis. While technology is assisting us in more ways than we can imagine, it is essential to maintain a certain amount of data independence.
One of the reasons for this is because countries across the world tend to have different rules and regulations. This means that companies also have to comply with different levels of regulations, especially when it comes to the digital data that they are in possession of, and which is being stored on a cloud.
If companies want to manage their data in a much more efficient manner, and if they need to take care of their information in spite of governmental regulations, they are going to have to:
- Have better management of data and better storage of the information that is being gathered
- Have more insight into the work that cloud service providers are doing and knowledge of their compliances
- Understand governmental policies and regulations and be in compliance with them
It is also important for agencies to understand the seriousness of complying with governmental authorities with the regulatory environment that we currently live in. Even if sharing one’s information with the government is not something that companies often aim to do, it is something that is being forced onto corporations despite their opinions towards it.
Are The Masses Also Affected By This?
When a company processes a piece of information, they are generally including information of their customers, agents, stockholders and just about anyone who is in contact with them. Through their information storage, they are creating a wide network of data that connects thousands of people, places and things. A company generally needs this information to be able to conduct proper analysis and interpretation of the work that they need to do, and may even need it to be able to carry out certain transactions and processes. When a government decides to intervene in a company’s records, they are receiving information that is in accordance with everything that the company does and performs. This means, that even the information of the people associated with the company, no matter how small, is being showcased on a cloud that the Government would then have access to. This means that even the masses are affected by the intervention of governments in cloud servers.
While the information that one provides is mostly out there for the government to attain, there are still certain regulations that enable a slightly amount of protection to customers. Certain sensitive information is still protected by server providers owing to the nature of this information, thereby preventing even the government from gaining easy access to it. For this sensitive information to be accessible, there needs to be an entire overhaul of cyber laws and regulations in place. We would need to be living in a situation wherein governments are able to attain easy access to our bank records, personal information and just about anything else that they need, even without a good enough reason to obtain it. This then compromises the trust that the people have built up with certain companies and service providers, leading to a decrease in income for these sources.