American industry groups dissect EU cloud computing report

MR Gao/

European Union report suggests harmonizing policies for networks.

American industry groups are welcoming a new European Union strategy for streamlining cloud computing networks, but not everyone likes the specifics.

The EU document, "Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe," is designed to help harmonize policies for cloud computing networks, which store information on remote servers accessed over the Internet, and which routinely cross international borders. The strategy outlines ways to streamline the regulations that govern ownership of data, security, and privacy.

The Business Software Alliance welcomed the report, but warned that it is not enough to harmonize rules within Europe.

"In implementing the new strategy, policymakers need to align privacy and security rules so that data can flow across international borders," BSA's Thomas Boué said in a statement. "Creating barriers to the free flow of data beyond Europe would impose inefficiencies and could cut off European companies from the fastest-growing cloud markets in Asia and elsewhere around the world."

The Software & Information Industry Association also praised the focus on cloud computing, but Mark MacCarthy, SIIA's vice president of public policy, said that governments should not make separate rules for cloud computing.

"In places, the communication treats cloud computing as a discrete entity that is potentially subject to specific government regulation," MacCarthy wrote in a blog post. "In reality, cloud computing is a variety of evolving business and technical developments that share only a rough similarity."

(Image via MR Gao/