Data Localisation in the EU: Keeping your data localArchitecture
Puck, 28 September 2022
In previous blogs we have discussed what data localisation is and what the advantages and disadvantages are. In this blog we will discuss localisation of your data in the EU and the Netherlands and why it is still interesting to keep your data local.
Why is data not localized in the EU?
We already mentioned it a couple of times in the previous blog: Within the EU, different rules govern data security. There is the General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR – which has set strict rules for data protection in the EU.
This is a completely different way of dealing with the Internet than in the US, for example. In the EU, the focus is on the privacy of the user and in the US, the focus is on “freedom of speech” and “usability” for companies. In the United States, it is easier for companies to index and trace user data. There are rules there but they vary from state to state and industry to industry.
The rules of the GDPR apply to all websites within the European Union and are designed to protect the privacy sensitive data of users. This makes it easier to trust other countries within the EU with our data.
Each country can then apply its own rules to optimise the use of data in that country. So there are both global rules that everyone in the European Union must abide by, and rules that countries themselves have drawn up as a means of improvement.
Within the EU, there are no strict laws stating that data from your country may only be stored, used and processed in your country. Critics say this is probably a good thing, because these rules would limit freedom of trade.
However, there are many advantages for Dutch companies to store their data in the Netherlands.
Why store your data in the Netherlands anyway?
The Netherlands is an attractive country for companies to process their data for a reason. And no, this does not only have to do with a cheap tax rate. There are other advantages to keeping your data local – in the Netherlands – and we will go through them with you.
The Netherlands is in the top 10 of countries with the fastest network connections. This is partly due to the good cabling in our country. The Netherlands is a small country and, compared to the rest of Europe, started constructing new networks at an early stage. Another fun fact: the Netherlands is number 4 when it comes to mobile data speed.
The Netherlands is very centrally located in terms of connections. Many central nodes are located within the borders of our country. This is attractive for companies because it makes the global connection faster.
The EU might be a free trade zone, also concerning data. However, as a company you will want to consider who can access your data – and the data of your customers. It will probably not happen quickly that companies from other countries within the EU are able to view your data which is stored there. But we do not have a good overview of this, nor is it impossible.
Also, in the Netherlands there are strict rules regarding the security of physical datacenters: rules that do not necessarily apply in all other countries in the EU. It may be cheap to put your data on a server abroad, but ask yourself what you are trading in for a cheap price tag.
How do we deal with data localisation?
Within the EU, it is ‘not done’ to say that the data of a country may only be stored in that country, after all we are a free trade zone. It would also be an obstacle to the freedom of companies. For the time being, we seem to be better off without very strict rules on data.
However, at Savvii all our datacenters are located in the Netherlands. We do not do this to participate in data localisation. We do this simply because we believe that the datacenters in the Netherlands are the best for our Dutch business. This has everything to do with the advantages we mentioned above. This allows us to serve our customers in the best way possible by offering safety and security.
Want to know more about data localisation? Then check out our entire blog series and start at “Data Localisation: Infrastructure at Home”.