Amazon & Other Tech Giants Set up Cloud Principles

Amazon and other tech giants including Google, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce/Slack, Atlassian, SAP, and Cisco have joined forces to establish a cloud initiative termed the ‘Trusted Cloud Principles’ – a series of principles on customer protection and data sovereignty to govern their cloud computing work.

The principles are designed to reflect the tech industry’s concern that certain regulations and proposals are not only making it hard to do business, but also forcing companies to hand over customer data without even being able to notify customers.

“Governments have a legitimate and important interest in protecting the safety and security of their people. Yet in some instances they 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. As cloud service providers, we are committed to protecting the privacy and security of our customers’ data in all jurisdictions through policy and technology. All governments must recognize certain baseline protections as they enact laws for the cloud era,” said the companies’ signatories.

The principles outlined the point that governments should create mechanisms to raise and resolve conflicts with each other such that cloud service providers’ legal compliance in one country does not amount to a violation of law in another; and governments should support cross-border data flows.

“The Trusted Cloud Initiative seeks to partner with governments around the world to resolve international conflicts of law that impede innovation, security, and privacy, as well as establishing and ensuring basic protections for organizations that store and process data in the cloud,” continued the signatories.

The cloud initiative intends to work with the tech sector, public interest groups, and policymakers around the world, particularly in the countries where the initiators operate or plan to operate data centers and cloud infrastructure – to achieve their objectives while ensuring that laws and policies are substantially in line with the cloud principles.