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Cloud giants come together in support of new security and privacy rules

A circle of laptops connected to a cloud symbol.
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Bluebay)

Nine major businesses have joined forces in an attempt to better protect the interests of their customers against over-reaching governments.

Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Atlassian, Cisco, Salesforce, Slack, IBM and SAP have established Trusted Cloud Principles, an initiative that aims to improve customer privacy and data security by calling out governments to “recognize certain baseline protections as they enact laws for the cloud era”, ITPro has reported (opens in new tab).

Among these “baseline protections” are support for cross-border data exchange and a solution for conflicting laws between different countries and jurisdictions. Currently, cloud providers are often forced to create different compliance requirements in different countries, complicating proceedings for both vendors and customers. 

The group also raised questions surrounding government data demands, suggesting that law enforcement agencies request data directly from enterprise customers, rather than cloud service providers. Obviously, there would be exceptions to the rule, such as in the event of a serious crime. 

The companies further suggest enterprise customers should have the right to be notified in advance if a government has plans to access their data, while cloud service providers should be able to challenge the request and notify “relevant data protection authorities” of the demand for access.

The nine firms said they understand that “protecting the safety and security of their people” sometimes requires access to this data, but that there are situations in which governments “seek to gain access to data under laws that do not adequately protect human rights and the rule of law, and conflict with laws of other countries”.

To help create laws and policies “substantially in line” with the aforementioned principles, the signatories plan on engaging with the tech sector, public interest groups and policymakers. 

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.