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NSA spying scandal impacting hosting decisions: Peer 1


A study released by Peer 1 Hosting – itself a Canadian hosting company – says that Canadian and UK data managers are looking wearily at U.S. hosting providers following last year’s revelations about privacy violations and spying by the U.S. government’s National Security Agency (NSA).

Peer 1, which is owned by Cogeco, commissioned the study of 300 UK and Canadian businesses. It found that while the U.S. remains the most popular place to store data other than their own countries, some 29 per cent said revelations that the NSA collect information on cell phone calls in the countries of its allies will impact their hosting decisions, and 25 per cent of Canadians that were storing data in the U.S. said they’re moving data back to Canada due to the NSA scandal.

While 44 per cent of Canadian respondents admitted to being confused by security and privacy laws, 69 per cent said they’d be willing to incur latency to ensure data sovereignty and 85 per cent said privacy laws were fairly important relative to other factors when selecting a hosting provider. Some 81 per cent said it’s important to know precisely where their data is stored.

U.S.-based hosting is still popular with Canadian businesses. While 82 per cent have use hosting servers located in Canada, 65 per cent also use data servers in the U.S. There does seem to be a trust issue though, with just 57 per cent of Canadian data managers saying they trust the U.S. as a location to host data, compared to 89 per cent that trust Canada.

Still, when asked where they foresee hosting their data over the next five years, there was little significant movement – 87 per cent said they’ll have Canadian hosters but 64 per cent of Canadian businesses still said they’d also be using U.S. provider.