Microsoft has teamed with some of its tech giant rivals to create new standards for secure cloud services and customer protection. Alongside Google, Amazon, Cisco, Salesforce/Slack, SAP, Atlassian, and IBM, the companies have created Trusted Cloud Principles.
The companies say this is a joint commitment from the world’s largest cloud providers to ensure fairness for customers.
“The Trusted Cloud Principles will help safeguard the interests of organizations and the basic rights of individuals using cloud services so that they can accomplish what they need in a safe and secure way,” the companies claim in a statement released this week.
“This initiative is more important today than ever … when some governments come directly to providers like us for access to customer data without their knowledge — in some cases for legitimate reasons but in other cases for reasons that could hinder basic human rights — it creates a tension that needs to be addressed through both technology and policies.
“Our Trusted Cloud Principles make it clear we seek to partner with governments around the world to resolve international conflicts of law that impede innovation, security, and privacy, and to establish and ensure basic protections for organizations that store and process data in the cloud.”
One of the goals of the group is to create standard principles that all companies will adhere to. For example, the signatories agree governments can seek cloud data information from customers before they go to the cloud provider. This may seem like passing the buck of privacy protection to the consumer, but it does give people more freedom.
However, it is worth noting this principle does say governments can go direct to companies in “exceptional circumstances.”
How different countries approach data can cause conflict, with differing laws allowing different levels of government interventions. Amongst the principles, the cloud giants want international legal frameworks to be in place to resolve these conflicts.
“We commit to working with governments to ensure digital connectivity among nations, to promote public safety, and to protect privacy and data security in the cloud in line with international human rights norms and the rule of law,” the signatories add.
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