What can President Trump do with your data?

Author: James Kinsella
11 November 2016 09:49:36

Nothing, if you keep it in Europe and out of his hands


President-elect Donald Trump has the same singular agenda he has shown throughout his life: to gain and retain power. He has done that with contempt for rules and a strong penchant for revenge. So what does that mean for control of your data? Picture courtesy of  'Bustle', featured on 'Russian Political Analyst Admitting "Maybe We Helped A Bit With Wikileaks" Explains Lots About The Election If True', accessible at 'https://www.bustle.com/articles/194487-russian-political-analyst-admitting-maybe-we-helped-a-bit-with-wikileaks-explains-lots-about-the-election'

If you or your company’s data stored on US servers might be useful to his business or political interests, he could very well attempt to access it. And given that the majority of European data stored in the cloud sits on servers owned by US companies, Trump’s victory now gives him unprecedented – and legal – ability to try to do just that.

This is not speculation; this is exactly what he already did when he wanted insight into his opponent’s campaign strategy and vulnerabilities.

Then, he did not have any legal access to others’ data; instead, he publicly called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to use his minions’ substantial hacking resources to access the Clinton campaign’s emails and most private information.

Using Wikileaks as their preferred publishing platform, Putin helped Trump win the US election. If you think this is hyperbole, look at the graphs of polls as they trace the trajectory of public opinion following major leaks.  

Imagine what they will do with your data when Trump takes the reins of the US government. Backed by laws already in place to give him access to data stored on servers owned by US companies – whether those servers are based in the US or not – he now has extraordinary power over your information.

And he owes a debt of gratitude to Putin for his assistance during the election; this is one debt Trump is likely to make good on.

Trump has never hesitated to use an advantage for his personal gain: he treated his presidential campaign as a promotional platform for his business interests; he wildly fabricated lies to sow doubt and provoke fear to win the election. He even used his “star” status to force himself on women, and then bragged about it.

So now, as he prepares to enter the White House, the most powerful political position on the planet, he is unlikely to show restraint.

Wake up, Europe. The cloud as dominated by US service providers is no longer safe for Europeans’ data – regardless of “agreements” like the US-EU Safe Harbour. And you have more secure European alternatives.

In Europe, we do not need to be Trump’s latest conquest.



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 https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jameskinsella.