SAN FRANCISCO: A heightened need for privacy in cloud computing services has had some effect on the activities of US-based cloud providers, with NetSuite "seriously considering" creating EU-based data centres to appease customer concerns. Meanwhile, Box says it has not seen any impact whatsoever on its European customer base.
Speaking on a panel at Box's annual BoxWorks conference, NetSuite's CTO and chairman Evan Goldberg said: "All of our data centres are in North America right now and we're starting to see the privacy issue kind of having an impact in so far on sales figures. So European servers are something we're seriously considering." He added that customers in countries such as Germany – where data privacy rules are very strict – were looking for servers at the very least based in the EU, if not in Germany.
Goldberg (middle) discussing the future of cloud computing at BoxWorks
Goldberg's comments match EU rhetoric, with European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes saying in July that the NSA PRISM surveillance scandal – which suggested the government was granted back-door access to major internet services – would have an impact on US cloud providers.
"Front or back door, it doesn't matter. Any smart person doesn't want the information shared at all," she said. "Customers will act rationally, and providers will miss out on a great opportunity. In this case it is often American providers that will miss out, because they are often the leaders in cloud services."
Cloud collaboration firm Box, however, told V3 that it had not felt this at all, with the firm's senior vice president of engineering Sam Schillace saying that Kroes' speech was "hyperbole". He added: "European governments aren't any better – in some cases they're worse than the US government in their ability to reach in and look at user data."
Meanwhile, Box co-founder Dylan Smith said in an interview with V3 that the heightened need for security had actually favoured his company. "As security becomes more important, it actually favours us." He added that he had not yet seen Kroes' claims materialise.
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