The Atlantic Ocean is widening at the rate of around 1 inch (~2.5 cm) per year. But sometimes it suddenly seems to accelerate! One of the issues that bring about this sense of a widening gap between Europe and the USA is the thorny issue of data protection. Some services that we use for education purposes in the UK store data in the USA, although increasingly the bigger companies like Survey Monkey use European data centres. Below is an extract from Survey Monkey’s privacy web page as an example.
But there’s no doubt that understanding if a particular web service based in the USA complies with EU data security requirements can be a nightmare. Hopefully a new Safe Harbour agreement, “Safe Harbour 2.0” is nearing agreement, despite the EUCJ ruling about the current Agreement. This article from Reuters reports that the U.S. Secretary of Commerce feels that an new agreement is in reach. Here’s hoping we can all be adequately protected but still be able to innovate in our use of learning technologies. No pressure then!