Five months on from the EU referendum, Brexit rightly demands as much of our time and thought as it needed to before the voting ballots opened. There is still huge concern and confusion about what will happen when our EU exit actually begins and the UK unwinds its association with the European Union. Add to this the news that America’s next president will be Donald Trump and the levels of uncertainty rise yet again. With so much of his campaign rhetoric and manifesto built on border control, the global view on migration is likely to change once again – creating yet more data and storage and protection headaches.
This debate revolves around whether the UK will lose the benefit of free-flowing data between the UK and the EU. Furthermore, the EU-US Privacy Shield legislation has now been formally adopted. Under Privacy Shield and the existing EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), organisations with transatlantic businesses must ensure US operations fulfill more rigorous data protection standards when managing European data. Even with a two-year time frame to make these changes, providers have to quickly understand the new data protection landscape in the EU.
According to a survey undertaken by Red Brick Research on behalf of Volta, a huge 81% of UK consumers would have more trust in an organisation if it provided more information about how and where it stored customer data. 87% of UK consumers would feel more confident if they knew their data was stored in the UK compared to European countries. In a similar way, 69% admit they would worry if they knew their data was being held in countries with different protection laws to the UK.
Equally, the importance of delivering near perfect uptime to provide customers with a seamless experience can’t be overrated. Add to this the fact that consumers are now showing awareness of data location and security issues when making buying decisions and the importance for companies to choose credible and capable data centre partners is paramount. It is equally imperative that they are clear about the data storage regulations in the country in which they choose to host their data.
Despite overly negative post-Brexit reports in mainstream media, our own experience has shown a 50% surge in demand for central London data centre space since the Brexit vote. Customers are actively seeking out UK-centric organisations that they can rely on for security, uptime and performance.
No-one can be 100% clear as to whether the exit from the EU will result in major changes to data security regulations. It seems likely that each country will draw down more on its own local experience to protect its consumers. Equally, it is vital that countries continue to talk to each other and deliver strategies around data that protect everyone in every location.
This view was provided by Jonathan Arnold, Managing Director at Volta Data Centres