“European data should be stored and processed in Europe because they belong in Europe.

There is nothing protectionist about this,” Breton declared on Tuesday. And while Europe missed the opportunity to make an industry out of private data, he urged firms and their regulators not to make the same mistake when it comes to industrial data. “Today there are 40 zettabytes of data as our legacy. We are doubling this number every 18 months,” he said.
… What that also means: “I am not in the business of banning any company, I am in the business of explaining very clearly what are our rules,” Breton told me when asked for his response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach to TikTok, which is facing a ban in the U.S. over fears its parent company could give the Chinese government access to users’ data. “The Trump administration is right to finally recognize that there is ownership on data. But for us, it’s not new.” Over the summer, the Chinese-owned company announced it would build a data center in Ireland to store U.K. and EU users’ data.
New or not? The concept of European data being processed in Europe isn’t perhaps all that new, I objected. “Something extremely important has changed,” Breton responded, citing the EU’s big data protection regulation as the main factor. “All board members in Europe are responsible now, personally, if there is a breach in data security in the company … If there is a problem, an issue, a judge will go to see what happened in the board room and ask: ‘Why did you let the data to be sent outside?'”

Author: Florian Eder