Hosting in EU vs US: What Do You Need to Know About Privacy? Personal information protection laws vary from country to country. Each provider handles data within the framework of the laws that govern its protection. Throughout history, Europeans have often had to deal with invasions of privacy. Europeans are used to fighting for their rights and have achieved significant results. Today, if you use the services of Hostzealot Hosting Provider in Europe, you are guaranteed privacy. In the US, the problem of protecting personal information is viewed somewhat differently.
Privacy principles in Europe
When choosing a hosting service, it is important to focus not only on characteristics such as performance and price but also on the principles of privacy. The GDPR, which was adopted in 2016, is designed to control the use of personal data from various resources on the Internet. The law became effective in 2018. The set of rules protects the personal data of European residents on several levels. The GDPR requires providers and site administrators to disclose the ways and purposes for which customer data is collected. Providers may collect customer data for the purpose of analyzing and improving services. Personal data may also be used to process transactions and detect and prevent fraud.
Principles of privacy in the US
In the US, tracking user behaviour on the Internet is considered the norm. The legislation of this country does not protect the personal data of website owners and visitors. In the ranking of the level of privacy in the field of digital technology, European countries are at the top, and the US is in 18th place. This situation is possible because of the mentality of Americans. Many US residents continue to believe that tracking their online activities is in their best interest.
In 2018, Congress passed the CLOUD Act, which regulates access to personal data in cloud services. Under the Act, IT service providers, particularly ISPs, are required to give authorities access to all data hosted on servers, including foreign ones. For example, the Act allows American courts to request from providers a printout of a user’s private messages without notifying him. Providers are not required to notify the customer when data is requested by authorities. Law enforcement officials are not required to explain the reason for their heightened interest in a particular person. To get the information they want, simply providing a request is enough.
Later came the CLOUD Act, which provides for the protection of information placed in the cloud from free use by government agencies. The Act grants providers the right to challenge requests from law enforcement officials. Special mention should be made of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act – COPPA, which at the legislative level secures the privacy of children under the age of 13. Site administrators and providers are expected to find ways to obtain parental and guardian consent for the processing of such data.
The rights of tenants of virtual shared servers, VPS, and VDS in Europe
Under EU law, providers and owners of online services are obliged to inform users within 72 hours if their confidential information has been leaked. The rights of server tenants of any type are regulated by the GDPR protocol. Prerequisite features:
- The user’s right to correct or delete their personal information at any time.
- The right of the user to protest against the collection and processing of his/her personal information.
- The user’s right to appeal to special authorities for the protection of personal data.
Companies found guilty of data loss due to improper security measures face fines of 4% of the total annual turnover. Alternatively, a fine of 20 million euros (whichever is higher). Similar fines are available for other GDPR violations. Compliance with GDPR requirements is monitored by a special supervisory body, which operates in each EU country.
If you set up an international company with subsidiaries in different countries, there is a need to transfer data between the European and American continents. In this case, you need legal protection for the information you transfer. At the same time, the US and Europe have a Privacy Shield agreement, which is the legal basis for regulating transatlantic data exchange on the Internet. Basic principles of the Privacy Shield:
- Notifications. Providers and site administrators notify users that data about their online activity is being collected and will be used. Organizations indicate the possible ways to contact the administration to file a complaint or request.
- Choice. Users have the right to refuse the collection and use of their personal data by site administrators and providers.
- Liability. The transfer of data to third parties is carried out in accordance with the principles of the protection of personal information.
- Security. Adequate measures are taken to prevent the loss of users’ confidential information.
- Integrity and currency of the data. The information that is collected must be fit for the stated purposes and objectives.
- Access. Users get access to the information collected about them and can edit or delete it if it is not true.
The application of the law in practice is complicated by many contradictions in EU and US law. If a company has a digital marketing policy, it is important to adhere to the provision. The GDPR protocol applies to US companies in two cases: if the company sells goods and services in EU markets or monitors European users’ online activity.
Hosting in the EU or the US: which is safer
The choice of hosting is critical to the long-term success of a website. In terms of privacy, the rules differ greatly between the United States and Europe. US providers are forced to comply with the laws of their country. As a workaround, some ISPs exclusively transmit encrypted data. However, the CLOUD Act allows authorities to request unencrypted information or perform decryption of communications. Under GDPR regulations, this is a violation of the law.
Hosting companies in Europe are legally protected against government encroachment on sensitive customer information. Only hosting rentals in Europe can guarantee that your data is not shared with third parties and authorities. European providers are not allowed to share customer information. The exceptions are extraordinary circumstances and court decisions.