Digital sovereignty: France and Europe can count on the free data exchange agreement with Japan
If economic rivalries and influences take place in the digital world, countries also know how to ally. This is the case of Japan and the European Union, which have signed a free data exchange agreement and thus created the largest space in the world for secure data flows. This agreement is an asset of sovereignty for European companies and a shield against some cyber espionage practices that exploit data infrastructures.
Digital sovereignty is played out on multiple levels. For companies it is in particular to maintain control over their data, to know where they reside and where they pass. A further guarantee is essential: to be sure that the company’s data is not exposed to illegal cyber espionage practices, which by their nature are invisible.
Coveted data, even at the cost of illegal practices
The concern for cybersecurity is based on very concrete facts. The news regularly reports such misdeeds which primarily target the data. This is evidenced by the revelations on the mass espionage system linked to certain software or even DDOS or “ransomware” cyber attacks of which companies, local authorities or even certain public bodies that use sensitive data are regularly victims.
Cyber attacks by software or viruses are not the only tactics: the seizure of strategic infrastructures is also part of the attack plans with, in line of sight, submarine cables and data centers. European countries are no exception, as the recent NSA scandal reminded us in spring 2021: the US National Security Agency was spying on several German, French, Norwegian and Swedish parliamentarians and senior officials using Danish systems by listening to telecommunication cables. submarines.
Data centers are objective because their hosting services gather their customers’ data servers there, among other things, and their connectivity offerings mean that they are the landing point for several undersea cables. So many devices that cybercriminals are interested in to reach the data. This is why data centers make physical and digital security a prerequisite, in order to avoid any malicious act. From now on, data centers located on European soil can also count on the free data exchange agreement between the EU and Japan to protect their customers.
The EU and Japan create the world’s largest area of secure data streams
It is strategic for Europe today to strengthen its ability to protect the data of its citizens and avoid any foreign interference. This problem is played out in particular at the level of data infrastructures and the free data exchange agreement between the European Union and Japan plays a role in this.
This agreement was formalized in early 2019 with the aim of protecting and freeing the flow of data between Japan and the European Union. To be successful, it was necessary to harmonize the level of data protection of the two parties on European standards. It thus establishes mutual recognition and the data of Japanese and European Internet users can pass to the other party without any particular control. Eventually, this agreement created the world’s largest space for secure data streams, an essential shield in the context of cyber espionage as we know it.
Prioritize data centers benefiting from the EU / Japan agreement
The free trade agreement concluded makes it possible in particular to identify particularly reliable data centers for hosting your data.
In this context, companies are recommended to host their most sensitive data on the national territory to preserve their sovereignty. But it remains to choose a datacenter that also provides a guarantee of protection against any risk of interference.
The latter is not taken for granted when the nationality of a hosting data center operator is located outside the EU. On the French and European market, non-European operators are mainly American or Japanese. This is where the EU / Japan agreement comes in: companies can confidently choose a data center from a Japanese operator, because under the protective framework of the free trade agreement, its installation will be airtight to any harmful foreign interference.
This guarantee against cyber espionage is unparalleled among other foreign operators. In this context, it should be noted that American law, due to its extraterritoriality, automatically applies to all sites of American companies in the world. Therefore, the data centers of American operators cannot oppose a request from the American government, even if their installations are outside the country.
The free data exchange agreement between Japan and the European Union is therefore a concrete example of multilateralism in the digital sector. All world powers, including China and the United States, should join it to promote trade and cooperation between states.