Until recently, the U.S.-based servers that make up the public cloud were considered a sanctuary for data. No more. In October 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the 15-year-old data-transfer framework known as the “Safe Harbor Framework” is invalid. Under this ruling, if a company moves data between the EU and the US via the public cloud, it is out of compliance with EU privacy regulations.
Brian Hengesbaugh, a privacy lawyer with Baker & McKenzie in Chicago who worked on the original safe harbor agreement said in an Oct. 7, 2015 New York Times article, “The ruling is so sweepingly broad that any mechanism used to transfer data from Europe could be under threat.” The ruling also can’t be appealed, leaving affected tech companies – and their customers – scrambling for a solution.
In response to the ruling, German data protection authorities published a position paper confirming that many data transfer mechanisms are now under scrutiny, the ECJ judgment will be enforced, and that investigations are underway.
The more than 4,500 enterprises that digitally transfer personal data from Europe to the United States, including Dropbox, Apple, and Google are searching for the best way to quickly respond to the ruling. Is it possible to conduct ?business as usual? now that allegedly indiscriminate government surveillance by the United States has wiped out the Safe Harbor Framework?
The new safe harbor: EFSS on your own infrastructure
The Safe Harbor Framework provided a temporary legal workaround for public cloud-based Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) products such as Box and Dropbox. But now, the only way for enterprises to be sure that they’re not violating EU data privacy law is to keep full control of company data. The best option for enterprises may be solutions like AeroFS, that provide EFSS on their own infrastructure.
With AeroFS, users still have a familiar and easy user experience, but the company and IT maintain control over the data and where it resides. From an IT perspective, it?s barely more work than a public cloud option since AeroFS infrastructure is virtualized and runs on virtually all virtual platforms.
AeroFS is free for teams up to 30 users. Give it a try, and let us know what you think.