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    New York Times: European Firms Turn Privacy Into Sales Pitch

    The New York Times reports that European cloud-computing companies are finding that privacy-protective practices are good for business. (“Cloud computing” is where you upload, store and access your data at an online service owned or operated by others.):

    LONDON — Timo Laaksonen wants to look after your online data.

    As the head of cloud computing at F-Secure, a European online security company, Mr. Laaksonen has a simple sales pitch for F-Secure’s cloud storage application. […]

    But unlike its United States rivals, F-Secure says it never shares an individual’s data with other companies or governments. And, his company says, all of the information is stored in secure servers in Finland, which has some of the toughest privacy laws in the world. […]

    F-Secure is just one of many European cloud companies hoping to take advantage of people’s growing appetite for online privacy. These European cloud operators have turned a particular focus on their local roots after the revelations by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, about surveillance activities by American and British intelligence agencies.

    To lure customers, the companies are pointing out that their data centers are in the European Union, whose privacy laws are more stringent than those in the United States. Large companies like Deutsche Telekom, Germany’s former state telephone monopoly, as well as smaller start-ups, are trying to win market share from American rivals like Amazon that dominate the global cloud market. […]

    American companies also are responding to people’s growing privacy fears. Many allow European customers to store online data in servers across the Continent, and companies like Microsoft now comply with Europe’s data protection rules to win local contracts that would otherwise have gone to domestic competitors.

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