Prism harming US cloud provider business, European Commission claims

Neelie Kroes warns that billions of euros could be lost sue to privacy fears

US cloud providers could miss out on billions of euros of business from European customers due to data privacy fears around the Prism surveillance programme, the European Commission has claimed.

The Commission's vice president Neelie Kroes said in statement that reports of the US government spying on servers held by US cloud providers are creating an "atmosphere of distrust" around cloud services.

"Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets, if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes?" Kroes said. "Front or back door - it doesn't matter - any smart person doesn't want the information shared at all."

Kroes added the privacy concerns are likely to impact the business US cloud providers, with European firms boycotting the use of cloud servers based in America as a result of the National Security Agency's surveillance strategy. It is claimed that the NSA has had access to the servers of a number of large IT firms including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

"If businesses or governments think they might be spied on, they will have less reason to trust the cloud, and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out," Kroes said.

"If European cloud customers cannot trust the United States government or their assurances, then maybe they won't trust US cloud providers either. That is my guess. And if I am right then there are multi-billion euro consequences for American companies."

She added: "If I were an American cloud provider, I would be quite frustrated with my government right now."

Kroes also warned that the concerns raised around cloud security could lead to European policy makers introducing legislation to ensure the security of information. This would affect the open market for cloud services, she claimed, and create difficulties for US firms to sell to European customers.

European cloud providers should be looking to take advantage of increased interest in privacy protection from customers, Kroes highlighted.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags National Security AgencyGoogleMicrosoftsecurityeuropean commissionHostedIT BusinessFacebookservicesYahoo

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Matthew Finnegan

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts