USA EU bridge across ocean
Author: James Kinsella

Almost exactly 10 years ago, the EU decided to generate some buzz around the 20 years of work they had been doing to make the protection of a citizen's data a fundamental European right by declaring January 28 Data Protection Day. 

Much of the rest of the world eventually joined in, with a slight change to the name -- and a substantially different meaning to the day. In the US, for example, January 28 is called Data Privacy Day. The name change is not accidental.  

The idea of "celebrating" the expansion of an individual's right to include his or her data is a radically European idea. The notion that government – specifically, the EU – should do something about enforcing...

Author: Alex Guy

About a year ago when we started building Zettabox, we wanted to create a tool that helped teams and companies work more efficiently and effectively as they collaborated on files across different devices, offices and even countries. 

To make this work, we knew we needed to build collaboration functionality that went beyond adding comments on shared files. We needed a collaborative tool that scaled to enterprises and large teams.

This post is intended to introduce one our newest features that makes collaborating and working together on files simple: Zettabox Messenger.

Let’s say your boss needs a progress report on a project so she can update the board today. You’ve...

Author: James Kinsella

Although it all started with Facebook, the ruling by the EU Court of Justice declaring that the US is not a safe harbor has pretty much gone un-noticed by the social media giant. Not so for some of America’s other cloud Goliaths.

Microsoft handed over the data storage part of its business in Germany to Deutsche Telekom, allowing it to declare it was no longer a “data controller” in that nation.

And now Linkedin has come up with another approach: provide a handy link to some legalese it can be pretty sure no one will read.

The Linkedin lawyers obviously had a business holiday season. One bit of their busy work was this missive sent to all users:

“. . . when the...

Author: James Kinsella

The European Union just proved it indeed IS both EUROPEAN and a UNION by completing a draft of the most sweeping regulation in the world dealing with data protection and sovereignty. The next steps should be a Committee vote in Parliament later this week, and then a full vote in Parliament early next year.

The headlines will focus on how the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an assault on US companies, because it establishes rules for data that anyone doing business in EUROPE must follow (even if you are a cloud giant domiciled in the US). Or the headlines will focus on new rules to protect children, claiming kids under a certain age won’t be able to use...

Author: James Kinsella


Recently, Microsoft posed a question about the uncontrolled movement of data, with direct implications for the future of a borderless Cloud. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella announced he would be handing over responsibility for storing customers’ data in Germany to Deutsche Telekom, in a “trustee model.” 

The move comes amidst a legal challenge Microsoft has brought against the US government over the company’s refusal to hand over customer data stored on Microsoft servers in Ireland. With this court fight, Nadella and his team have fought the good fight to protect individual privacy in face of far-reaching US laws that allow the government access to data on American tech...

Author: James Kinsella

In the attacks on Paris on November 13th, France has responded in much the way the US did to the 9/11 attacks 14 years earlier. It has proposed new rules to make it easier to detect and apprehend bad guys and it has stepped up its intelligence cooperation with allies around the world to identify and apprehend those responsible for these atrocities. Even before November 13th, France had enacted one of the toughest internal data surveillance laws in the Western World – and had created one of the most extensive counter-terrorist operations.

Every government has the right – and responsibility – to do whatever reasonably necessary to protect its citizens. And all governments require...

90 days and counting? 12 Nov 2015
Author: James Kinsella

As per usual, the Europeans are sounding reasonable.

About a month ago, the Court of Justice declared that the US “is NOT a safe harbor” for Europeans private data.

Less than a month later, the Europeans made it clear they don’t want to fight with the Americans; they want a new agreement. “Too much is at stake,” the CLOUD AUTHORITIES say.  Let’s face it, everybody, whether they know it or not, uses Amazon Web Services; everybody uses Google; everybody posts on Facebook.

I mean, without a Safe Harbor agreement with the US, how do you “friend” perfect strangers?

So THIS MONTH, the Europeans gave the US 90 days to strike a new agreement. And to make it...

Author: Alex Guy

Remember when you assumed the content you shared and stored online would stay private? We all happily posted, uploaded and commented without a thought to who could access and reuse our photos, files and conversations.

Yet as the likes of Facebook and Instagram have become our collective digital archives, nefarious individuals have easily gained in depth access to our personal data without much resistance in sight.

I’m not talking about hackers, but rather the companies we are trusting and the terms and conditions they craft.

While hacking cases are grabbing headlines, the legal policies most people unequivocally accept often include equally dubious threats to...

Author: James Kinsella

At the START of last week, the European Court of Justice declared that the US is not a safe harbor for Europeans’ data. Even more important is what happened at the END of last week: the General Data Protection Regulation took one step closer to becoming law, when the Justice Commission approved its language. Now the Parliament has its say, and the odds are extremely good that the Regulation will be approved by a large majority.


The verdict that US cloud companies – whether their servers are in the US or located in Europe – are not safe for Europeans’ data was stating the obvious. The US government’s approach to Europeans’ data is “an interference with the right to...