It's wet under here

Author: James Kinsella
20 December 2016 10:40:30

EU-US Data Protection Umbrella already leaks


The European Parliament was feeling pretty satisfied with itself at the end of last week – it had just passed an accord with the US to give EU citizens many of the same rights of redress that Americans have had when their personal data gets ensnared in the US government’s very large surveillance net. Picture courtesy of 'Graphophobia', featured on 'Nutella Limerick", accessible at ''

Given that some 70% of Europeans’ personal data is probably on servers controlled by US companies – and thus accessible by the US government, anywhere in the world – the EU had to bolster the EU-US Data Shield with these new protections.

But what the European Parliament giveth, the US President can taketh away, in a single executive order. That is the crazy reality of the imbalance between Europe and the US. And with the imminent arrival of Mr. Trump in the White House, only the most optimistic European assumes provisions of these accords will be upheld.

We launched Zettabox almost two years ago with the mission to provide for businesses a European alternative to the US-dominated cloud sharing, syncing and collaboration market. Our basic premise — that data protection and sovereignty would grow in importance — has been validated by moves on both sides of the Atlantic to broaden government surveillance.

The smart money bets that this new accord will be successfully challenged in EU court. Before that, it will almost certainly be tested by the new US president.


James Kinsella is the founder of Zettabox, a European-based cloud-sharing platform, launched to address data protection and sovereignty issues for enterprises faced with the responsibility to comply with new EU regulations. A long-time tech entrepreneur, James is a proud citizen of both the US and Great Britain. Reach him on Twitter @jimkzettabox or at