In a week that has seen the European Court of Justice rule that the Safe Harbour agreement on data transfer as invalid, the significance of data transfer legislation in South East Asia has been under discussion at Cloud South East Asia.
Answering audience questions following his Cloud South East Asia keynote this morning, Blair Layton, Head of Database Services for Amazon Web Services, argued that some of the legislation against data transfer was not always as cast-iron as they appear.
Acknowledging that such legal concerns were indeed “very legitimate,” and that there were certainly countries with stringent legal provisions that formed an obvious barrier to the adoption of cloud services such as Amazon Web Services, Layton none the less stressed that it was always worth examining the relevant legislation “in more detail.”
“What we’ve found in some countries is that, even though the high level statement might be that data has to reside in one country, what you find in the fine print is that it actually says, ‘if you inform users then it is fine to move the data,”’ he told delegates. “Also, that for sensitive data you think you may not be able to move – because of company controls, board level concerns etc. – we can have many discussions about that. For instance, if you just want to move data for back-up and recovery, you can encrypt that on the premise, maintain the keys on premise, and shift that into the cloud for storage.”
In the same session, Layton, when not extolling the impressive scope and effectiveness of Amazon Web Services in the South East Asian region and beyond, discussed other reasons for the arguable disparity between the evident regional interest in cloud services, and the actual uptake of them.
“There are in different cultures in different countries, and they have different levels of interest in technology. For example, you’ll see that…. people in Singapore are very conservative compared to the Taiwanese In other countries their IT is not as mature and they’re not as willing to try new things and that’s simply cultural.”
AWS: examine fine print in data transfer legislation