Google Cloud has announced a new set of sovereign controls for users of its workspace productivity software, aimed at allowing companies, both public and private, to better control, limit and monitor data transfers to and from the European Union.
Following the fall of the Privacy Shield, changes appear to have been made in response to recent EU efforts to better protect members’ personal data when using cloud services.
With these upcoming changes, the workspace will provide users with an expanded range of access controls, as well as the ability to create comprehensive log reports on data access and activities.
European customers will also be able to implement strong client-side encryption, which was first offered to workspace users last June. Client-side encryption is now generally available for Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides, with plans to increase functionality in Gmail, Google Calendar and Meet by the end of 2022.
Workspace users will be able to restrict or approve Google Support access through access authorization and limit customer support to EU-based support staff through access management. Google is providing ongoing support from Google engineering staff, including remote-in virtual desktop infrastructure.
Data zones, which allow customers to control the location of their data storage, will be available by the end of 2023. It will provide customers with data storage and in-region processing coverage, including an in-country copy. .
“We often hear from EU policymakers and business leaders that ensuring the sovereignty of their cloud data through regionalization and additional control over administrative access is crucial in this growing landscape,” wrote Xavier Blair, vice president and general manager at Google Workspace. In the post. “Digital sovereignty is at the core of our ongoing mission in Europe and elsewhere, and a guiding principle that consumers can rely on now and in the future.”
Sovereign controls will begin rolling out by the end of 2022, with additional capabilities such as data location control scheduled for 2023.
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