European Commission’s cloud plan too corporate, doesn’t tackle government surveillance

Penta calls on the European Commission’s European Cloud Partnership initiative to consider better legal frameworks for privacy and data protection, broader SME representation, and fostering industry competitiveness.

“By letting governments and large corporations dictate policy, we risk creating a similar situation as in the US where net neutrality is being threatened by corporate interests to the detriment of innovation and consumer choice,” says Penta CEO Farhad Khalilnia.

Cloud recommendations

In response to the call for opinions on the final report by the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board published on March 18, Penta has submitted a series of recommendations on:

  • Better privacy and data protection
  • Corporate lobbying influencing policy and better SME representation
  • Industry certification and regulation hampering agility, innovation and differentiation

“We welcome the initiative by the European Commission to create a sound business environment and strengthen the cloud industry in Europe,” says Khalilnia. “However, the direction is worrying on several fronts.”

Download Penta’s full recommendations.

“The report explicitly avoids addressing the whole-sale government surveillance undertaken by some European governments and which continues to damage the public trust in cloud computing. The report also appears to favour public cloud solutions, championed by the larger corporations who are over-represented on the steering board. Onerous certification schemes will also reduce choice and innovation, and put smaller companies at a disadvantage,” says Khalilnia.

The European Cloud Partnership (ECP) is an initiative by the DG Communications Networks, Content & Technology to encourage a single market in cloud computing. The ECP Steering Board is made up of representatives from European countries as well as corporations and companies with cloud computing activities.

“We hope that the ECP does not put the interests of national surveillance bodies and large corporations ahead of the consumer and the small- and medium-sized enterprises that are currently innovating and implementing cloud computing,” adds Khalilnia.