Data Residency – Why your data’s storage location matters

  • August 17, 2021
  • Author: Matthew

If you’re making calls and doing business using a cloud-based system, it’s important that you know where they’re storing your data. The data can include the log of a phone call or an actual recording of a phone call. 

It may seem like an insignificant detail, but the place where your data is stored can have a serious impact on its security as well as who can access it.

Protection

Some Canadian businesses require protection for all data collected and transferred within the nation – or handled by a Canadian business. 

These rules can also apply to businesses from other nations if they are handling the data of Canadian citizens.

Encryption

Encryption is a layer of security that protects your data from being exposed, even if it’s intercepted by a third party. 

It’s powerful, but many businesses only encrypt your data at certain points in the data’s journey – typically the beginning. Once it enters the cloud, it remains unencrypted for the remainder of the journey – leaving your data vulnerable. 

If you really want to keep your data 100% safe, ask your service provider if they offer end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption means that your data stays encrypted at all times – no breaks. 

We offer end-to-end encryption here at UnitedCloud. From one device to the other, your data is kept secure the whole way through, using Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP.)

Privacy laws

Your data might be protected if you’re in Canada, but if your service provider stores any of your information in data centers outside Canada, that information is subject to the privacy laws of the nation it’s stored in. 

Data privacy laws can vary significantly between nations – if your service provider isn’t clear on where your data is stored, you’ll have no idea what is happening with your data – or who has access to it.

Every nation has different privacy laws – some more strict, and some more relaxed – but if you don’t know where your data is going, you’re completely unaware of how much privacy you actually have.

Natural disasters

When you don’t know where or how your data is being stored, there’s a higher risk of loss. If a natural disaster occurs and a data center is unavailable, your data can easily be gone for good. 

UnitedCloud stores data in multiple data centers across Canada with an automatic failover system – which means that even if a data center is unavailable, the other data centers will ensure that you don’t lose any info.

Loss of data

Apart from natural disasters, there are many ways that data could be lost. 

When it’s stored in an unstable nation (whether that be geographically, politically, or economically), data can be lost with no warning.

If your service provider is partnered with a separate data storage company, data can be lost if the storage company goes out of business.

How the United States’ CLOUD act impacts your privacy

In 2018, the U.S. government passed the “Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act”, also known as the CLOUD act. It requires all American data and communications companies to provide data to the government upon presentation of a warrant or subpoena. 

You may expect that this rule doesn’t apply to data stored in Canadian servers. 

But according to the bill, it applies so long as the company that owns the data is American – “regardless of whether such communication, record, or other information is located within or outside of the United States.” If you’re working with an American business, your data can be accessed by the U.S government no matter what country it’s stored in.

This might raise privacy concerns. If you want to avoid the effects of the CLOUD act and similar policies from other nations, switch to a Canadian-owned service provider that stores its info within Canada. 

UnitedCloud is one such business.

If you want to know more about our data storage and backup – or anything about the services we have to offer, we’d love to chat. Get in touch with us today!

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