Is your favorite file sharing platform putting you at risk of non-compliance and heavy penalties?
How confident are you that your sensitive data is safe from prying eyes during the process of file sharing and storage?
Is your data really under your control?
In the modern digital workplace, collaboration and efficient file sharing system are of vital importance for businesses and individuals alike. Alongside, the importance of data privacy, data security and compliance can never be overestimated. So it is paramount to carefully evaluate one’s choice of cloud computing solution.
GDPR and the importance of compliance
The GDPR lays out stringent regulations related to the processing, storage and transfer of personal data. Enterprises and institutions dealing with personal data are obligated to adopt measures to protect the data privacy right of users. Failure to comply with GDPR can result in severe penalties.
Microsoft under fire for non-compliance
The conflict between US law (Cloud Act) and European law (GDPR) creates operational challenges when storing office documents on servers owned by US-registered enterprises like Microsoft. Under the US Cloud Act, data stored on these servers can be transferred to US government agencies, directly clashing with GDPR policies. This incompatibility causes headaches for sysadmins and compliance authorities, and make protection of sensitive data all the more complex. Striking a balance between the two legal frameworks requires careful planning and the implementation of suitable data management strategies to mitigate risks and uphold data sovereignty and compliance objectives.
The declaration made by The Conference of the Independent Data Protection Authorities of Germany (Datenschutzkonferenz or DSK) towards the end of 2022 left no room for interpretation. It unambiguously stated that the use of Microsoft 365 is incompatible with the GDPR due to inadequate transparency in Microsoft’s handling of personal data for its own purposes. Furthermore, the DSK pointed out the absence of evidence regarding the lawfulness of such data processing.
Microsoft and the risk of penalties
It is no longer a secret that Microsoft 365 and European data protection laws do not align. Data protection officers in various German states have repeatedly expressed concerns and prohibited the use of Microsoft’s cloud solution, particularly in educational institutions. Now that a collective statement from Germany’s highest-ranking data protection authorities exists alongside, the risk of high penalties for non-compliance increases. Consequently, the continued use of Microsoft 365 is becoming increasingly more precarious for companies and institutions.
Microsoft banned across schools
Educational institutions in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, are risking imminent trouble as they continue using Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 package despite repeated warnings from the data protection supervisory authority. In its activity report for 2022, the data protection authority in the region emphasizes the urgent need for schools to switch to alternative cloud solutions that do not clash with compliance policies.
The supervisory authority, currently led by Jan Wacke, reinforces the call to action by highlighting the potential for claims for damages under Article 82 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The cutting-edge technology of ownCloud solves all the above problems at one go, delivering 100% control, full ownership and high-end data security in file sharing and collaboration.
Yet another failed attempt at European-American data protection agreement
One might be tempted to believe the popular saying that good things tend to happen in threes. Unfortunately, the proposed data protection agreement between the European Union and the United States does not support this theory. The initial endeavors, namely Privacy Shield and Safe Harbor, were invalidated by the European Court of Justice due to inadequate data protection standards in the United States, and lack of compliance with European policies. Aiming for substantial changes would have been a prudent move for the European Commission but regrettably, this didn’t happen in reality. The latest agreement turned out to be merely an old idea in a new package.
Till the European commission signs a “no spy” agreement with its American partners that would prevent unauthorized access to sensitive European data, data stored in U.S. clouds would continue to lack in security and compliance.
ownCloud as a secure and compliant alternative
The assessment made by the DSK is a positive development. However, this consensus is not free from criticism, as several data protection advocates have argued that digital existence without Microsoft 365 is not feasible due to a lack of suitable alternatives.
However, such claims are unfounded.
Full-fledged alternatives are readily available, which deliver an equivalent level of functions and at the same time ensure compliance and data security. Therefore, it is entirely possible to carry on with a thriving digital life without Microsoft 365 at any given time, while complying to data security laws and maintaining digital sovereignty.
File sharing with ownCloud is a gamechanger for Microsoft users: 100% control, full compliance, full ownership, bulletproof security
Enterprises are always on the lookout for efficient, secure and user-friendly digital collaboration and file sharing solutions. However, the stringent data protection laws for specific kinds of data (for example intellectual property, sensitive corporate data etc.) make it impossible to process them in the public cloud.
ownCloud has you covered!
ownCloud addresses this challenge by offering seamless integration with Microsoft 365, serving as a “safehouse” for critical and sensitive data, ensuring they remain separate from the Azure Cloud.
By integrating ownCloud with Microsoft, you can ensure GDPR compliance like never before! Safely store your files on ownCloud and transfer them to Microsoft only when necessary for viewing or editing. When edits in Word, Excel or PowerPoint is complete, your documents return securely to your ownCloud storage.
This game-changing file sharing solution simplifies the complex relationship between data security and usability by enabling on-demand data exchanges with Microsoft servers. Enjoy the freedom to allow or restrict files from being transferred to Microsoft’s servers at any time, and in the process, ensure full control over data. It can be summed up to all the functionality and familiarity of Microsoft, minus the challenges of inadequate security and compliance issues.
ownCloud is an open-source file sync, share and content collaboration software that lets teams carry out file sharing from anywhere, on any device. ownCloud integrates seamlessly into any sovereign workspace including user directories, security systems and monitoring and backup services – ensuring that sensitive data remains safe and under control at all times. OwnCloud is designed to be extended, customized, developed, adjusted and even branded to fit the needs of the user.
Explore how integrating ownCloud with Microsoft helps you to ensure secure file sharing and boost productivity while enjoying a familiar user interface.