The benefits of cloud computing can hardly be overstated. By pooling computing resources, cloud computing not only offers significant cost savings over traditional software and hardware products, it facilitates innovation by allowing users, businesses and governments to procure, rapidly and cheaply, a diversity of software, analytics and storage services.
Despite these considerable benefits, however, globally distributed cloud computing has recently come under threat. Over the past year, in response to mounting concerns over data privacy, data security and the rise of online surveillance, governments around the world have been seeking to pass new data protection rules.
Several governments, including Germany and Brazil, have considered enacting “data localization” laws that would require the storage, analysis and processing of citizen and corporate data to occur only within their borders. Proponents of these rules assert that by keeping data storage and processing close to home, they can provide their citizens and corporations with better defenses against foreign surveillance and protection from the ambiguities of international data privacy rules.