Most IT companies unsure of data regulations, survey shows

‘People are confused’ as negotiations surrounding Privacy Shield agreement continue

Some 60 per cent of Irish-based businesses claim they do not have a clear understanding of the rules.

Some 60 per cent of Irish-based businesses claim they do not have a clear understanding of the rules.

 

Almost two-thirds of senior IT decision makers are unsure about current data regulations, following the striking down of the Safe Harbour agreement and the ongoing debate over Privacy Shield.

Safe Harbour, which was intended to protect personal data of EU citizens that was transferred to the United States, was declared invalid by a European Court of Justice ruling last year, and its replacement, Privacy Shield, has been found lacking by European data protection watchdogs.

But the negotiations surrounding the agreement have left companies unsure as to where they stand, the survey carried out by data centre firm Equinix found.

“It’s not surprising,” said Eric Schwartz, president of Equinix’s EMEA business.

“Given the ruling on Safe Harbour and the negotiations going on between the EU and the US that are unfolding real-time the fact that people are confused as to where it lands and how it’s going to unfold for them, particularly with the attention being paid to it lately, it doesn’t surprise me at all.”

The regulatory process has to run its course, he said, but businesses were becoming much more aware of their responsibilities to their customers.

Compliant

Not only are Irish-based businesses confused about the transfer of data, with 60 per cent claiming they did not have a clear understanding of the rules, that number was higher for foreign direct investment firms, at 80 per cent.

Despite the confusion though, there may be a silver lining for the data-hosting industry here. Just over half of the respondents said they were more likely to seek an Irish data-hosting solution after Safe Harbour was overturned.