Keeping Your Data In Canada – Why So Important?

Most businesses complete at least a portion of their daily operations over the cloud. This is a difficult environment to navigate and therefore familiarizing yourself can provide you with the proper knowledge to safely utilize the cloud. The focus here will be privacy law compliance, which is one of the primary components of the cloud alongside security, support, and management. This facet of cloud hosted infrastructure is complex and, if neglected, can not only threaten the integrity of your business but can also result in legal repercussions as well. In order to ensure your business is in good standing we will tell you everything you need to know about  keeping your data in Canada.

To begin, the Canadian government uses a law known as The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which every business must abide by, to safeguard Canadian data. The law oversees how private sectors collect, use, and disclose information in commercial activities. The law limits the collection of personal information by organizations to strictly that which is essential for their services, prohibiting collection of unessential data. Furthermore, PIPEDA protects the privacy of users by restricting organizations from doing anything with their data besides what was initially agreed upon at the time of collection. According to the law, unless explicit consent is obtained, personal information cannot be shared with any third parties. Organizations must be completely transparent with the collection, handling, and storage of user data. Furthermore, a system must be implemented to be able to obtain user consent in the first place. In the event of noncompliance, victims can file a complaint with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

All businesses, or organizations, within Canada are subject to comply with PIPEDA. Additionally, each province also exhibits unique privacy laws which acts as another protective measure for keeping users’ data safe. Because of this, it is integral that businesses select a cloud provider that is fully compliant with, and supportive of, the existing federal and provincial privacy laws. That way, the business is safe from any infractions, and subsequently any legal repercussions.

Now why is keeping your data in Canada so important? We’ve covered why choosing a cloud provider that is compliant with privacy laws is essential, but why can’t the provider reside outside of Canada? There are a variety of reasons. 

First, the federal and provincial laws often state that personal information must stay within the borders of Canada to begin with, especially in the healthcare and legal industries. 

Second, if Canadian businesses don’t choose a Canadian provider, chances are they’re working with an American one. However, the U.S. Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act was enacted in 2018 by President Donald Trump. It controversially grants the U.S. government the authority to request access to any data, without the need for probable cause (as this isn’t required yet for electronic communications). This entails the potential for breach of Canada’s privacy laws. If an American cloud provider was being used by a Canadian business the U.S. government would constitute a third party, which does not have consensual, or authorized, access to the users’ data in the eyes of Canadian law. In other words, the U.S. CLOUD Act may breach foreign law.

Finally, even if there isn’t a law prohibiting Canadian business from using foreign cloud providers, you may want to ask yourself how it is going to look when a breach occurs and the public finds out you were storing their data outside of Canada’s borders? Of course, your reaction to this question may vary depending on the nature of your business, and by industry. Regardless, it is proven that keeping your data in Canada is the best practice to ensure you do not tarnish your business’ reputation.

Now that it has been established why keeping your data in Canada is critical, consider turning to Server Cloud Canada for your cloud needs. Our company is 100% Canadian owned and operated so you can be sure your data remains within the nation’s borders at all times. We offer best-in-class security to establish a high degree of data protection. We also have multi-tiered, 24/7 support, and are willing to work with you to ensure your business is completely compliant with all federal and provincial privacy laws. We provide education to administration and users on cloud privacy, management, and security. 

Additionally, we are SOC II certified. This has been awarded on the basis that we excel in various areas of our business operations such as security, privacy, availability, confidentiality, and processing integrity.

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