IT Law / Technology

The Cloud Privacy Check project makes European privacy laws clearer to business users

Cloud Privacy Check project

The present European data protection laws are complex yet not entirely comprehensive. In their presentation iteration (and soon to be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation) their national implementation has created nuances which are significant to business and technical operations. The issue is exacerbated in technical instances with multi-national actors and intricate cross-border data flows such as distributed cloud computing environments.

Lawyers from 32 countries have created ‘Cloud Privacy Check’ (CPC), the largest European information platform explaining data protection laws in the simplest possible terms and free of charge. The CPC makes national regulations directly comparable and easily accessible.

Privacy is not merely a business-priority, it is a societal challenge which requires adaptive technical and legal know-how. The CPC tool offers the first level of information to make citizens and business-users more aware of the operative legislative provisions in Europe.

Understanding the complexity of current European data protection laws and regulations is already difficult enough for an IT engineer, buyer, or business user. Due to the often small, yet nevertheless significant, differences between various EU member states, comprehending the legal structures can be an  almost insurmountable challenge.

As Vice President of the Malta IT Law Association (MITLA), I represented the association at the launch of the CPC project in Vienna.

Language is often a barrier. However it isn’t only the many different languages that make the interpretation of European privacy laws difficult.  Cloud service providers and users alike are faced with major obstacles with regards to data protection law variants, causing European nations to suffer massive competitive disadvantages in comparison with, for example, the USA. This is itself a barrier to business.

The CPC project provides a vastly simplified approach. MITLA  has collaborated with the CPC Project Leader, Dr Tobias Höllwarth (EuroCloud) and more than 40 legal professionals from all over Europe to produce this tool. The website hosts the Cloud Privacy Check (CPC) tool, a visual infographic explaining the principles of data protection regulations in 26 languages, allowing information seekers to quickly understand key aspects of privacy law. Additionally, the Data Protection Compliance database provides highly relevant legal information for 32 countries that can easily be compared with each other.

Tobias Höllwarth (EuroCloud), founder of this project says: “This is a European project. With the CPC portal, we have created the largest European information platform explaining data protection laws in the simplest possible terms and free of charge, making 32 different national regulations directly comparable.”

The CPC project has presented a managed resource of knowledge on the various subtleties of law as applied within the European Union. The data within the CPC is an excellent visual summary of key action items relevant to data protection compliance within a cloud environment and will be of great use to researches and business owners acting over multiple jurisdictions.



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