Following the shock decision by the European Court that US companies could no longer hold data on European citizens, as reported earlier this week, we’ve seen a rush of Salesforce customers signing up for Really Simple Systems CRM.
And not just European customers, but US companies with European customers too.
US cloud vendors are in a sticky position. They can try to build hosting infrastructure in Europe, isolated from US access and owned by a European subsidiary. But that will take time, and will still be exposed to US prying if a US court instructs the company to hand over the subsidiary’s data, as is happening to Microsoft. Although the public statements from them assert that it’s “business as usual” and they aren’t affected, behind the scenes there is panic.
Data aggregators that combine and sell user information to advertisers, like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn, will have to split their systems so that EC data is no longer visible to servers in the US, making selling advertising more complicated.
Its a mess. But the US has only itself to blame for having sloppy or non-existent data protection laws, zero respect for non-US citizens’ privacy and ignoring the EC’s concerns for a decade. Meanwhile, until the legal position is resolved, EC companies like Really Simple Systems will hoover up European CRM customers, especially those in regulated industries like finance and healthcare where compliance is enforced.