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As the amount of electronic information increases, the need for an offsite storage location increases as well. In addition, offsite or outsourced data storage via the cloud can be a tempting option for businesses, due to the ease and low cost. However, this usually involves the transfer of personal information, which can easily create problems when that information ends up outside Canada.
Recently, the cloud computing model has been scrutinized by privacy advocates and law makers, in regards to the level of visibility and control that the cloud computing providers have in communications and data storage. However, when your business hosts in Canada, you’ll benefit from the stricter privacy laws. In Canada, the privacy laws are known for being on par with the UK & European Union.
There are conflicting requirements within laws, such as the US Patriot Act and Canadian PIPEDA. While the US Patriot Act allows government and law enforcement agencies to search data retained by service providers, the Canadian and Provincial privacy laws are in conflict with the US Patriot Act.
When working with a SaaS provider and using a cloud-based solution, you must be aware of where your data resides physically. If your data is stored in data centres located in the US, the data is subject to the US Patriot Act. If you’re going to engage a third party for some sort of hosting, ensure that the provider, as well as their servers and your data, will remain located in Canada.