Compliance with data privacy regulations is a fixture in business strategy today. With the global adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and increasing interest from governmental agencies worldwide, there’s no doubt that the already intricate compliance landscape will get even more complex. World leaders and tech behemoths recently met in the UK to lay the groundwork for the regulatory oversight of AI technologies, which will undoubtedly include guidelines on strengthening data privacy.
So, what do the world’s biggest technology companies do to mitigate the operational risks of dealing with jurisdiction-specific regulatory frameworks? Amazon is proposing a stand-alone, geographic-dependent platform, the AWS European Sovereign Cloud, that will help companies in some of Europe’s most highly regulated industries and public sector organizations to operate fluidly within regulatory boundaries.
What Is the AWS European Sovereign Cloud?
The AWS European Sovereign Cloud is the latest development in AWS’s commitment to digital sovereignty, in line with the AWS Digital Sovereignty Pledge to enable AWS customers to meet their digital sovereignty requirements while benefiting from the full performance, availability, and features of AWS Cloud. This new autonomous cloud will support AWS’s European public sector and highly regulated industry customers to operate freely in line with data residency commitments.
The AWS European Sovereign Cloud will be located in and run entirely from the European Union as a separate entity and will launch with Germany as the first AWS Region. Users of the new cloud service can expect the same security features, availability, and performance that customers in existing AWS Regions are afforded, but with the benefit of knowing their data residency and related requirements are met through AWS sovereignty controls. Customers will be able to retain all their metadata in the EU, and the new cloud will include independent billing and usage metering features.
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This high-level geographic focus extends to AWS employees, too. Only AWS employees who are residents of the EU and physically located there can manage operations and provide support for the AWS European Sovereign Cloud. Globally, AWS supports 143 security standards and compliance certifications. The introduction of the AWS European Sovereign Cloud will take this commitment a step further in Europe by enabling customers to advance operational autonomy and meet specific resiliency requirements.
“The AWS European Sovereign Cloud reinforces our commitment to offering AWS customers the most advanced set of sovereignty controls, privacy safeguards, and security features available in the cloud,” said Max Peterson, vice president of Sovereign Cloud at AWS, in a recent press release. “With this new offering, customers and Partners across Europe will have more choice to achieve the operational independence they require, without compromising on the broadest and deepest cloud services that millions of customers already know and use today.”
Model of the Future?
While many vendors have talked about geographically designated data (by way of example, edge data centers are located locally to increase performance), there is an increasing need for tools that address jurisdiction-specific compliance.
One of the standout features of the AWS European Sovereign Cloud cloud is the ability to access data from any device or location. However, as the complexity of data privacy compliance grows, vendors must help enterprises ensure they can operate with regulatory boundaries by default.
This dedicated, geographically specific approach could usher in an era of decentralization, where the benefits of the cloud could become more achievable for companies working in sectors that have traditionally struggled to achieve the same performance while maintaining compliance with regulatory frameworks.
Moreover, the AWS European Sovereign Cloud will provide the low latency and high availability service that AWS and other providers support through localized services. The difference is the focus on compliance, which businesses will need to sharpen if they hope to avoid the fallout from an increasingly stringent regulatory environment.