The Object Management Group (OMG) has formed a new working group to study issues of documenting and controlling data across distributed cloud environments, a big inhibitor of cloud for those with strict data sovereignty requirements.
OMG’s Data Residency Working Group will study how to document and control data and online documents where they physically reside, and work with experts to provide practical, multi-disciplinary solutions to help organisations manage the growing gap between regulation and technology.
Richard Soley, chairman and chief executive of OMG said the move is in response to growing uptake of cloud services, at a time when data residency and data privacy laws don’t necessarily align with the technology trend.
“There is a groundswell of concern about data residency, especially in Europe,” Soley said.
“For example, European Union Safe Harbour Principles mandate that companies outside the EU that store Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about EU residents must comply with EU data protection requirements. Many other countries have also restricted how data originating within their borders can be stored abroad.”
“The goal of the Working Group is to develop a taxonomy to help organizations realize the promise of cloud computing while complying with new and evolving privacy regulations, and user demands for data residency.”
Data residency is a huge challenge for many firms looking to use cloud services, in part because it’s difficult to satisfy regulatory requirements for keeping data in-country; data is often sharded or backed up in a range of different locations, particularly for platforms offered by some of the larger geographically distributed cloud service providers. Forming consensus around standard, practical procedures to manage data residency within the context of cloud specifically could go some way towards satisfying regulators in certain niches (i.e. financial services, healthcare) and allowing enterprises to broaden their options when it comes to their IT systems.
Seth Proctor, chief technology officer of NuoDB, a database firm that recently worked with the OMG to survey its members on their data woes, said the organisations recently found nearly nine in ten respondents claimed to have data residency challenges.
“As data increasingly is accessed and shared across geographic boundaries, governmental and other regulatory agencies worldwide have begun adopting stringent laws and regulations about how data can be collected, stored, shared, and transferred,” Proctor said.
“To meet these new data protection and privacy requirements, we need consistency in how we define, discuss, and address the issue of data residency, so that we as an industry can create practical solutions.”
For those of you who may be interested in participating, the Data Residency Working Group is due to have its first meeting in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday June 16.