[LINK] Microsoft slams local data centre edict

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Fri Nov 25 09:35:57 AEDT 2011

Re Karen Dearne's article about the submissions on the PCEHR legislation

MS says in their submission:

"Healthcare information stored in a PCEHR will not necessarily be better
secured and protected simply by virtue of data being held within
Australia's territorial boundaries, as compared to (offshore) storage
repositories and portals operated under world's best practice security
and privacy systems," it says in a just revealed submission on the draft

"By regulating the geography where the data is held rather than the
level of security under which it is held implicitly establishes criteria
for data protection that are not related to principles of technology

Exactly right! There are more important things than the specific 
technology, like accountability, right of action, law, little things like that.

I went to a briefing on ehealth info with an APF colleauge about 3 or 
4 years ago. We met the person from Microsoft at the time running 
Healthvault or whatever it was called, the MS offering for storing 
personal health information at the pleasure of the individual rather 
than the government.

The key question I asked him was: Will MS guarantee the information 
is stored in Australia to be under our legal jurisdiction? The answer 
was an unequivocal, yes, it will be stored in Australia. It was that simple.

The position MS takes about not focusing on the security misses the 
governance problem: whose law will cover the screw ups? It's not just 
about technical security or even privacy. It is about jurisdictional 
accountability. IANAL, but the issue of server location has seemed to 
be powerful enough for other actions where jurisdiction comes into 
play. Why does Microsoft say in their submission (as quoted in the 
article) that the government could contract them to meet the local 
jurisdictional requirements? Is that accurate?


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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