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CAN YOU TRUST THE SWISS WITH YOUR DATA?

I saw this story and asked myself if this appears to be an international snow job …

bs' Does it really matter where your encrypted data is stored in a secure data center?

Swiss bank on safe haven label to become world's data vault

Thanks to Switzerland's long-held banking secrecy tradition, the country enjoys a global reputation for security and privacy.

Switzerland, facing an erosion of the banking secrecy laws that helped make it the world's banker, is now touting its reputation as a safe and stable haven to become a global data vault.

But amid international pressure, the country is being forced to shed the protective shield that has made its banks so attractive, and has agreed within the next two years to automatically exchange account details with other countries.

In the wake of revelations from former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden of widespread snooping by the National Security Agency, they are touting Switzerland's cherished reputation to draw clients from around the globe.

"Clients need confidence, discretion, reliability and stability. These have been the country's hallmarks forever," said Grueter, who says more than one billion francs (one billion euros, $1.1 billion) have been invested in data centres in the country over the past five years.

Source: Swiss bank on safe haven label to become world's data vault

Some thoughts …

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  • Other than its physical location, the storage of encrypted data in a secure data center is a commodity and reputation is illusory when specific terms and conditions make it clear that users have little or no recourse for data loss or security breach. As we have seen in the Kim Dotcom raid, Australian authorities appeared to break their own laws and illegally and inappropriately provide access to American law enforcement authorities – with innocent customers left on the hook. 
  • We have learned that international data channels have been compromised by various government and private actors, so your data stream’s  round trip might be captured and stored without any indication of the capture.
  • The Swiss appear to have rolled-over to various government requests for information on bank accounts to preserve their foreign banking relationships and there is every reason to believe that they will do the same on data request. Their banking infrastructure and international contacts with foreign entities being more important than your data.
  • Swiss courts are not a cheap or friendly venue in which to pursue remedies for data breaches and the consequential damages that might result from such a breach.

Bottom line …

As the article suggest the Swiss are attempting to capitalize (pun intended) on the previous bank secrecy laws as a marketing USP – Unique Selling Proposition. My first call for secure data storage would be to Iron Mountain before I would call a Swiss company.

As with everything in life, the Better Business has it nailed: “Investigate Before You Invest.”

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

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