For any data-driven enterprise hoping to grow its operations in Europe today, the vaunted Single Market is a chimera. Rather than a harmonized legal framework and clear rules for how companies must safeguard people’s personal information and preserve their privacy, one finds a confusing patchwork.
Take the example of a cloud computing service that offers software tools, data storage, and processing power for enterprise-level clients to use in running their operations. The technology architecture of such a service should easily allow the cloud provider’s physical headquarters to be located in one country, its servers to be located in another, and its customers to be spread all over Europe. (Such economies of scale are in fact the very point of cloud computing.) The cloud service provider’s client companies, in turn, could have their own customers in any number of different locations. (more…)