Many answers on this site and other security-related websites state that one should host sensitive data in a country with strong data protection laws. What countries are these, and how is this determined?

I understand that Germany has an excellent webhosting service as does the UK. Are either of these countries considered to have strong data protection laws? Even if they do, is it reasonable to assume that those laws are abided by?


I have found a website which list a overview of the key privacy and data protection laws and regulations across 77 different jurisdictions. Of course i haven't read the legislation of any of these countries and i'm not a lawyer so you should pick one of this countries and do a deep search to see if their laws suit your needs.

And laws can change at any time this should not be the end of your search but rather the start for a more deep and current search on the law.

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  • The question was about data protection laws, not data retention laws. – Mike Scott Jul 5 '15 at 7:14
  • Oh my bad lol...will edit my answer – Freedo Jul 5 '15 at 7:18
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    Man, why would they color "good" as red, and "bad" as green? – Neil McGuigan Jul 5 '15 at 21:13
  • I don't know lol. But red = heavy regulation & enforcement and green = limited regulation or enforcement – Freedo Jul 10 '15 at 2:55

A new law on information collection and intelligence recently passed in France, and is under review by the supreme court (Conseil Constitutionnel).


It gives a large freedom to police and intelligence service to "access" any data located in France.

However, it is not clear if the ISP has to decode it if the data is encrypted? It is the purpose of my SUREMESS project to hold only encrypted data: http://www.suremess.eu/

However, if the pressure becomes higher, an alternative will be to use a multi-country cloud provider, with internal security rules to prevent cross-country access, such as OUTSCALE.


A quick google search turned up the following:

  • Romania
  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Iceland

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