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Digital Sovereignty after the Demise of Privacy Shield

In the August issue of ownCloud monthly, we talk about changes to transatlantic data transfers after the ruling against Privacy Shield, new features and how new rules could bring Digital Sovereignty to European cloud users.

By ownCloud

ownCloud monthly update

A lot of organizations send personal data from EU citizens to US clouds for processing. The highest EU court kicked the legal basis to the curb for this three weeks ago. We welcome the decision against Privacy Shield. Read how we wish our integration partner Microsoft would change course after the ruling and what we think can be a path forward for organizations affected by the ruling to strengthen digital sovereignty.

Speaking of data transfers, want to let outside contacts send files efficiently into your organization? Then Drop Folders might be for you. They are public write-only folders – with no size limits, unlike email. They are handy e.g. for bids, proposals, homework assignments, feedback and even anonymous tips.

To make it easy for your staff to get started on using Drop Folders, we wrote step-by-step instructions, part of our blog series Getting Started with ownCloud. We also recently explained in detail how to create public links to files and folders.

ownCloud just got a lot easier to install just last week. Starting with our fresh 10.5 release, ownCloud Server now includes all compatible extensions so you can get started in a breeze. Thinking about an upgrade to the Enterprise Edition? Now, starting the 30-day trial period is easier than ever before. That’s not all: 10.5 also includes a feature that enables you to protect your work from getting overwritten by locking files manually. They unlock automatically after a specified period of time. Also, 10.5 supports PHP 7.4 and thus brings out-of-the-box compatibility with Ubuntu 20.4 and other current linux distros.

Who are your favourite providers and vendors when it comes to cloud computing? We hope that ownCloud is among the ideas that come to your mind. Please do vote in this year’s Cloud Insider Award, organized as always by the pleasant people at Vogel Communications in Würzburg. Since the ballot form is in German, we compiled some instructions for you.

The personal take of the month, by Holger Dyroff, COO

COO Holger Dyroff writes about Digital Sovereignty after the Demise of Privacy Shield
In a momentous decision, the European Court of Justice has in July for the second time struck down a deal between the European Union and the United States regulating transfers of personal data belonging to European citizens. The direction of travel is the same as in the so-called Schrems I decision back in 2015, named after the plaintiff Max Schrems, when the court ruled invalid the Safe Harbour agreement.
Let us hope that this time, the Commission refrains from mending the hole in the transatlantic web of trust with a quick fix that only lasts until the ECJ hands down its Schrems III decision in 2024. Instead, Europe’s executive should provide its citizens with Digital Sovereignty for a change. There are lots of good alternatives to processing data with US cloud providers. But to have a truly dependable European cloud infrastructure, demand needs to shift towards European cloud providers and services.

For this to happen, the commission and the administrations of the 27 member states must amend the rules to reflect the court’s decision. If the US tech giants then still want a piece of the action, they should have to prove to the European citizens that they won’t make their data accessible to US government agencies. They should have to spin-off their European cloud businesses, appoint European directors and let European data protection agencies have a regular peek into how they do what they do.

P.S. Keep up with exciting developments in open-source content collaboration, data sovereignty and all things ownCloud: Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

ownCloud

August 13, 2020

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