A recent Lifehacker article claimed that Australian businesses were not ‘fussed’ about using offshore cloud services. It drew this conclusion from a single statistic, quoted by Australian research firm Telsyte in a press release announcing its Australian Infrastructure & Cloud Computing Market Study 2015. Telsyte said: “Telsyte research indicates nearly two-thirds of businesses that use the cloud are already using an offshore provider. Furthermore, 46 percent of CIOs say they are not subject to any restrictions on the use of offshore cloud services.”
The sample size and breakdown by industry/government sector of the CIO population surveyed was not given, but that finding is hardly surprising: regulations governing the use of offshore cloud services apply only to personal data and then only to government agencies, which are required to keep certain data offshore.
However, businesses handling of personal information are subject to regulation: The National Privacy Act limits what can be done with it and requires it to be protected. Principle number four states: “An organisation must take reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.”
Offshoring personal data might seem ‘reasonable’, until proven otherwise. As one commentator on the Lifehacker article observed: “Any decent CIO isn't going to want to rely on a definition of...continue reading: "Offshoring your data: just because you can does not mean you should"
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