The possession of personal data of network users collected from various resources on the web, with or without users’ consent, is called digital sovereignty. Followers of sovereignty believe that private information should be collected after users have given their consent, or, at the very least, they should be informed about this fact.
In addition, they believe that personal information should be saved in the data center of the user’s country of residence or where he uses the Internet. But this is impractical because almost all corporations and web resources have their own data centers located in other countries with their own rules about IT and the cloud.
Example of digital sovereignty
To give users an idea of what information is collected when they visit a company’s online resource, the European Union recently enabled the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This makes EU visitors to the web aware of what information is being collected while they are on a particular site.
The EU has also stressed the need for encryption to ensure data security. An excellent example is the retail hypermarket Amazon, which sells worldwide. It uses different TLDs for ease of use.
Followers of digital sovereignty hope that the company’s site will store customer and supplier information exclusively in the data center in America when it provides services to the residents of this country.
GAFA and digital sovereignty
The acronym consists of the first letters of the four leading online corporations – Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. It is already clear that GAFA gathers personal information on the web. However, GAFA is not limited to these four corporations. In an expanded sense, this would include all organizations on the web that collect users’ information.
There are two purposes for collecting and using personal data. One is commercial and has a practical purpose, as users provide personal data in exchange for privileges and high-quality services. The second is political, where governments claim sovereignty of information.
People often don’t like this. They now know that specific standards of consciousness can be imposed on them using the personal information provided by various social networks, for example, Facebook. In this regard, the problem of sovereignty has become a massive problem and requires an urgent response.
The solution to a digital sovereignty problem
Digital sovereignty direction has two positions. While some argue for data centers within the country where the user is located, others want to have sovereignty over all data centers so they can be accessed at any time. That creates challenges because every country has different laws when it comes to cloud technology.
The optimal solution to the problem is to find a compromise and develop a single set of rules that will apply to all data centers in any country. These rules will define in what form and who owns the information. The same kind of encryption must be used for all countries so an identical level of protection is used for all data centers.
The rules can determine who will have access to what information and how it will be accessed. Now there is almost nothing users can do if they want to use the Network. But a solution must be found that defines the sovereignty of information regardless of where it is located, hence guaranteeing the security of users’ personal data.