GDPR and its Effects on the Cloud

A recently convened roundtable called to discuss digital storage could not have been arranged at a more opportune time. The panel of UK based data experts was put together in the main for a broad discussion of current and future trends within data storage – particularly cloud based storage platforms.

However, discussion quickly turned to the upcoming implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into force in May 2018.

The experts agree that cloud storage as a platform is currently growing slowly but steadily after an initial boom period lead more by personal than business users. At the same time, they identified two separate issues that were holding back the introduction of cloud storage, security of storage in the cloud and cloud location, i.e. that many customers are looking for cloud storage located in their home country or in their own region.

These are the issues that have been at the forefront of the migration of data storage from local to cloud based over past several years. However, the experts admitted that a third has now joined the discussion with the upcoming implementation of GDPR.

The feeling is that there has been some misinformation, with one of the experts, Ezat Dayeh, referring to the statistic that some 78% of UK businesses believe that GDPR will not apply to them owing to the upcoming Brexit. However, these companies will be subject to GDPR on the data they collect and hold. It does not matter where you are based but rather where the information you gather originates. If the information is regarding EU citizens, you must be GDPR compliant.

At the end of the discussion, it was mentioned that in many ways GDPR is similar to the Y2K threat. At this moment a lack of clear strategy and a blanket of misinformation is threatening to blow up an easily tackled issue into a serious problem.