Safe Harbor revoked: Don’t worry, our servers are in Germany.
Last week the European Court made a monumental decision to revoke the Safe Harbour agreement between the European Union and United States. This agreement allowed companies operating in the EU to transfer their user data to USA based servers.
Next to tech giants like Google and Facebook, this decision has major implications for smaller SaaS providers with servers in the USA. Since we’re a SaaS company ourselves, our support guys have been receiving dozens of inquiries about our own server setup: “Am I safe using your chat software?” “Where are your servers located?”
Our answer: Don’t worry. We are a German company with a German server setup. We always have been and always will be. In fact for many customers it has been an important factor to choose us.
Now more than ever we are happy with this server setup. SaaS providers from the States will have to adopt strong encryption or set up servers in Europe.
What if you're making use of one of these American providers? No need to stress out too much either. The decision ensures that national authorities "are able to investigate companies and suspend them if they aren’t providing enough protection when storing or transferring data outside of Europe” (Digiday).
In theory that means that both SaaS providers as well as their users could be held responsible, yet it is unlikely that their users will be the target of investigation.
One cannot deny however that American SaaS providers have suffered some reputation damage through this week's decision. If you don’t want to be associated with that, the best you can do is switch to a German provider. Like Userlike :)