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Definition

data sovereignty

Data sovereignty is the concept that information which has been converted and stored in binary digital form is subject to the laws of the country in which it is located.

Many of the current concerns that surround data sovereignty relate to enforcing privacy regulations and preventing data that is stored in a foreign country from being subpoenaed by the host country’s government.

The wide-spread adoption of cloud computing services, as well as new approaches to data storage including object storage, have broken down traditional geopolitical barriers more than ever before. In response, many countries have regulated new compliance requirements by amending their current laws or enacting new legislation that requires customer data to be kept within the country the customer resides. 

Verifying that data exists only at allowed locations can be difficult. It requires the cloud customer to trust that their cloud provider is completely honest and open about where their servers are hosted and adhere strictly to service level agreements (SLAs).

See also: safe harbor, Patriot Act

This was last updated in March 2013

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