Impact of GDPR on Cloud Computing

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The introduction of General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR has turned out to be the most significant legislation concerning ‘privacy of information’ across the European Union. The legislation puts a whole set of rules and obligations on businesses. As an integral part of business operations in this generation, this also means a great impact on cloud computing. In the last decade or so, there has been a remarkable increase in the adoption of cloud services. With GDPR regulating such operations, it will now become imperative for providers of Cloud Hosting and computing services to ensure that they are compliant with the new rules. Service providers will need to design systems and applications that do not expose their client’s data to any kind of risk in any manner. The main objective of GDPR is to set uniform laws on data protection and give users more power over their information.


Key Highlights of GDPR

  • The client using cloud services is the controller and the cloud service provider is the processor of all information, data, and other resources stored on the cloud database and servers.
  • The cloud provider will have no control over your data unless as instructed by the enterprise, thus giving business complete responsibility and ownership of their site/business data and other information.
  • Organizations who fail to comply with any clause under the regulation will have fines imposed on them.
  • The regulation increases transparency of information and thus strengthens user’s rights on information.
  • GDPR is applicable to all organizations that gather information from EU citizens, even if such organizations are located or operational outside the EU.

With these new rules and regulations, cloud computing and cloud hosting services are likely to face new challenges which will eventually impact the way cloud services are managed. These challenges are mainly – general privacy challenges of cloud services and GDPR specific.

It will strengthen user privacy

Organizations dealing with huge volumes of client’s data will now have to ensure that they take all necessary steps to secure data and be transparent to the users about how that data will be used. Such data can be deleted upon the request of the user at any given time.

It will create data sovereignty

This is the most prominent impact of GDPR on cloud services. As per the law, all data of EU citizens will now have to be stored within the Union or within the jurisdiction thereof. This also means that enterprises will now need to move from a public cloud platform to a more secure cloud environment within the EU.

Data control and visibility

GDPR requires enterprises to share usable and portable data formats with their users as requested, and if required, to be deleted on user’s demand. This is also valid for data backups. In other words, the entire cloud infrastructure needs to have visibility to meet the compliance guidelines.

Privacy by design and security

In order to protect the personal information of users, the GDPR requires all enterprises to implement the principle of ‘privacy-by-design’ for every system and application that is being designed for the cloud architecture. This is something every cloud client should consider while creating a new cloud application.

To sum up…

Cloud computing is essentially the need of the hour. While GDPR might pose a challenge to that need, it is only going to reshape the operations rather than hindering it. By complying with these newly formed guidelines, organizations, cloud service providers and users can work in harmony in the long run.

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