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UK and Canadian Companies Consider Data Sovereignty Key Factor in Web Host Selection

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Security and data privacy are the top reasons 25 percent of Canadian and UK businesses are planning on moving their company data outside of the US, according to a study released by Peer 1 on Wednesday.

While performance and reputation are still important considerations for the majority of companies choosing a hosting provider, security is by far the biggest consideration with 96 percent of respondents citing security as their top concern. In fact, nearly 70 percent of respondents said they would sacrifice performance to ensure data sovereignty.

Peer 1 Hosting commissioned the study of 300 businesses in Canada and the UK to provide a look at how privacy concerns are impacting hosting decisions.

Despite the concerns for their data, and 82 percent of companies indicating that privacy laws are an important factor in determining which countries to host their data, more than half of companies surveyed host most of their data in the US.

According to the survey, Canadian companies are more likely to move data from the US, with one in three reporting to have plans to move away from US data centers.

“With data privacy and security concerns top of mind after NSA, PRISM and other revelations around the world, businesses in the UK and Canada are taking real action,” Robert Miggins, SVP business development, PEER 1 Hosting said. “Many are moving data outside of the US, and even more are making security and privacy their top concerns when choosing where to host their company data. It’s clear that hosting and cloud providers need to take note and offer their customers true choice in terms of the locations and environments where they store their data, ensuring they can maintain security, compliance and privacy to the best extent possible.”

The survey provides even more evidence that the US government’s surveillance program has done more harm than good, especially for service providers in the US. Recently, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said the NSA’s surveillance program hurts confidence in US cloud computing services, which this study shows to be the case.

In August, a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation predicted that concerns around NSA surveillance could drive up to $35 billion of cloud business away from the US over the next three years.

About the Author

Nicole Henderson is the Editor in Chief of the WHIR, where she covers daily news and features online. She has a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto. You can find her on Twitter @NicoleHenderson.

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