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European Commission vice-president warns businesses about cloud computing

In a speech to the GSMA Europe ‘Privacy in the Cloud: Data Protection and Security in Cloud Computing’ conference, Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission, warned businesses that data protection and privacy must be taken extremely seriously when building and using cloud computing systems.

Reding told delegates that next month she will propose a new European data protection and privacy law which will clarify and reinforce European regulation in this area. At the same time coordination between national data protection watchdogs will be strengthened so that both the existing and new rules will be enforced consistently.

“Businesses must take the security of personal data more seriously,” warned Reding. “One could argue that personal information is also not secure on a home PC’s hard drive and therefore security is not a problem only in the cloud. But let’s be careful: we should not underestimate the risks in the cloud where the data of millions of people is stored. On the contrary, we see that large Internet companies that hold vast quantities of personal data increasingly come under constant attack from hackers. We have also seen data breaches on major online game services that have affected millions of users.

“This is why, under my proposal, businesses will have to pay utmost attention to security of information and privacy by design. These features should be well-integrated in the design of cloud computing products and services. The real winners will be those companies and service providers – no matter where they are from – that understand the competitive advantage of having built-in privacy features.”

•Date: 8th December 2011 • Region: Europe/UK •Type: Article • Topic: Cloud computing

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