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Cloud Native/NFV

IBM Targets Data Governance as Europe Eyes More Privacy

With the European Union looking to strengthen data protection privacy right over the next year, IBM is looking to expand its reach into data governance portfolio by applying big data and machine learning to issues ranging from compliance to security.

The first step, however, is through open source.

On June 22, IBM is announcing the Open Data Governance Consortium for Apache Atlas, which is the foundation's framework for the Hadoop big data platform. The consortium will include about a dozen users of the big technology, including Hortonworks, and the goal is to push Atlas from its current incubator stage within Apache to "Top Project Level" status, where it would be available to more and more developers looking to build governance tools.

Earlier this month, when IBM and Hortonworks announced that they were expanded their partnership, the two companies each said they would expand their contributions to the open source project, especially around the areas of data governance and security. (See IBM, Hortonworks Team on Machine Learning, Data Science.)

"Apache Atlas is the open source answer to support governance and it provides a metadata solution that can effectively be virtualized and access your metadata from anywhere," said Rob Thomas, general manager of IBM Analytics in an interview with Enterprise Cloud News. "We have become a big contributor to Atlas over the last 12 to 18 months... we're inviting users to join us and Hortonworks and asking them what do they need to do to deploy this at scale."

Old Europe
(Source: Tpsdave via pixabay)
Old Europe
(Source: Tpsdave via pixabay)

In addition to its work with Apache, IBM is rolling out several commercial offerings to support data governance, especially the new privacy protection that are based in the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These updated regulations, which go into effect on May 25, 2018, not only address issues of personal privacy, but also control what personal data can travel outside the European Union.

In addition, the United Kingdom, despite Brexit, is likely to follow the GDPR regulations as well.

This means that European businesses now have to rethink what data they can share in the cloud, and whether data needs to be kept on-premises or can transfer to a public cloud, even though most of the major providers have data centers located in the United States.

In his view, Thomas believes that companies need to get the compliance and governance issues right first, and then they can move data to the public cloud since clients data can bounce from one data center to another -- both inside and outside of Europe.

In May, Gartner published a study that found about 50% of all companies, including those outside the Europe Union, will not be in compliance with GDPR by the end of 2018.


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IBM is looking to address concerns about compliance with these offerings:

  • IBM Unified Governance Software Platform, a software platform that includes management capabilities, includes ones specifically design for GDPR. These include policy enforcement, data integration services and persona-based reporting.
  • Information Governance Catalog Download & Go, which lets users download governance tools from the cloud.
  • StoredIQ update, which includes additional analytics for finding personal data within the system. IBM plans to make this available specific to the countries covered by GDPR.

"These are all critical capabilities to deliver both compliance for organizations with these new types of regulations and to deliver new insights, meaning self-service access to data," said Thomas, who noted that while GDRP pay isn't being hyped-up yet, companies are starting to looking to comply now with the regulations before next year's deadline.

IBM is not the only company looking to offer its services to businesses concerned about GDPR. Earlier this week, Microsoft posted a whitepaper about using its Azure public cloud to meet these new regulations.

However, beyond the cloud, IBM plans to double down in Europe regarding these changes in data privacy and governance. Big Blue also plans to offers its Data Science Experience through its data center in London and create a machine learning hub in Germany.

All the IBM commercial offerings for governance are available now.

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

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Susan Fourtané 7/4/2017 | 11:51:57 PM
Re: Flexibility to businesses protecting individual's personal data I believe what we are seeing now, the shif back you mention, is an obvious result of people admitting the initial Brexit was a mistake. Not having the capacity to accept that, and not being able to back track is going to bring consequences. The most affected are the younger generations, and the ones that will pay for the mistakes and the inhability to fix something that could be fixed with a second refendum. I am not an expert either, but I am entitled to having an opinion.
Phil_Britt 7/4/2017 | 9:51:41 PM
Re: Flexibility to businesses protecting individual's personal data To be honest, I don;t know that I have the necessary insight on the issue to offer an "expert" opinion, but it would seem to me that some of the leanings that led to the initial Brexit vote have started to shift back the other way, as evidenced with the parlimentary results.
Susan Fourtané 6/30/2017 | 11:39:46 PM
Re: Flexibility to businesses protecting individual's personal data Phil -- What do YOU think, do you think it will set Brexit back?
Susan Fourtané 6/28/2017 | 12:56:41 PM
Re: Flexibility to businesses protecting individual's personal data Phil -- At the beginning, it was thought that the results were going to set Brexit back. Many don't want her to take it forward. She was also expected to resign. I am not sure what will actually happen. It might just mean a softer Brexit. -Susan
Phil_Britt 6/25/2017 | 12:22:27 PM
Re: Flexibility to businesses protecting individual's personal data @Susan,

With May failing to win a majority recently, do you think that will set Brexit back? By how long?
Susan Fourtané 6/24/2017 | 10:59:26 AM
Re: Flexibility to businesses protecting individual's personal data Scott, the Brexit talks take two years. I think it's five years the time after Brexit when EU rules will have no effect on UK citizens. The EU data regulation will be happening at the same time the talks conclude. It's a lot what has to be considered. It would seem the UK would mirror the EU in data privacy regulations. But many things are unclear. After Brexit, the UK is no longer covered by the EU-US Privacy Shield. https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/01/eu-us-privacy-shield-open-for-sign-ups-from-today/ So it's that as well. Not just UK-EU, but UK and others after Brexit. It's not simple. Of course, it seems those who hurried to vote for the UK leaving the EU didn't consider anything beyong the tip of their nose. -Susan
Susan Fourtané 6/24/2017 | 2:38:35 AM
Re: Flexibility to businesses protecting individual's personal data Scott, I got this in an email from a service company that had saved my personal data. "We know that you've registered your details with us in the last 18 months, but because of changes to data protection, we need you to confirm that you're happy to carry on receiving communications from us." If I don't click on the big button to confirm they can keep my data they have to delete it. I wonder how companies will replace emai marketing now. Sure a lot of people will click on the opt-in button if they regularly use the service. However, the company's data base stored will considerably shrink. -Susan
Scott_Ferguson 6/23/2017 | 9:23:33 AM
Re: Flexibility to businesses protecting individual's personal data @Susan: I wonder is the UK will develop its own standards for privacy once the Brexit talks are complete? That will be a number of years, though.
Susan Fourtané 6/22/2017 | 7:48:30 PM
Re: Flexibility to businesses protecting individual's personal data Basically, UK enterprises that trade in the EU will have to comply with GDPR for at least the data they have stored about their EU customers. It also makes sense that the UK keeps the same regulations that the members of the block when it's about data protection. If they don't have the necessary technology they have a bit less than a year to finish whatever they have to finish and make it work. There is a big movement about data privacy and data protection around. I would be surprised if by May someone doesn't have the technology needed in place.
Scott_Ferguson 6/22/2017 | 5:20:30 PM
Re: Flexibility to businesses protecting individual's personal data  @Susan: I think that's a great point about having one law to deal with, and that's why the UK adhering to that also helps out and will help the companies located in the UK and doing business in the EU – Brexit or not. I guess the bigger question is, and the one that IBM is looking at, is do these companies have the tech to make this work. The Gartner survey doesn't seem to think so. 
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