The beauty of the cloud is the promise of simplification and standardization — without regard to physical or geographic boundaries. It’s this “any time, any place, any device” flexibility that is driving rapid adoption.
However, new government regulations on data sovereignty threaten to complicate the delivery model that has made cloud computing attractive, presenting new concerns for companies with operations in multiple countries.
While the strike down this fall of the United States-European Union “Safe Harbor” agreement made most of the headlines, I see the recent localization law in Russia (which went into effect in September) as a more significant development. The law mandates that personal data on Russian citizens must be stored in databases physically located within the country itself.
With this ruling, companies that capture, use and store data must abide by specific laws or face the consequences of falling out of compliance. Russia is a warning bell. With currently 20+ countries also considering similar privacy laws, the landscape will grow increasingly complex for cloud providers, and more costly for customers, thus chipping away at the beauty of the cloud.
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