Data protection, openness and modularization fall by the wayside

Zug, Switzerland,
15. Oktober 2020

Data protection, openness and modularization fall by the wayside

With the recently introduced Google Workspace, the range of collaboration platforms on the market continues to grow. However, legal uncertainty regarding data protection still exists, argues VNC.

The market for integrated collaboration software is booming, and not just because of the Corona pandemic. A few US providers have long dominated the market, and now Google is joining the ranks: The enterprise has positioned itself distinctly against Microsoft.  

"The competition is growing, and that's a good thing, because users benefit from it," states Andrea Wörrlein, Managing Director and member of the Board of Directors of VNC, leading provider of open source-based enterprise applications.

But the downside is and remains data protection. Cloud SaaS offerings are an essential component of the collaboration solutions of Google, Microsoft & Co. However, with the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to overturn the privacy shield agreement between the EU and the US, German companies are now threatened with fines if they store personal data in clouds from US providers. It does not matter whether the data centers are located in the US or Europe. "For the users of such cloud applications there is no legal certainty in the sense of the DSGVO," Wörrlein emphasizes. "It is important that the products offered can also be operated in private cloud or, if required, on-premise platforms. 

IaaS and PaaS offerings such as the Google Cloud Platform allow customer-specific applications to be set up and could be able to provide sufficient security in combination with confidential computing. "However, centrally managed services (SaaS) such as those within the Google Workspace or MS Office 365 certainly do not comply with EU data protection requirements," says Wörrlein.

In addition, many of the collaboration solutions are proprietary, i.e. completely opaque to the user. This is a considerable disadvantage, especially for companies with critical or personal data. In addition, many solutions lack modularization: they can only be used as monolithic complete packages and cannot be adapted to the specific needs of individual companies or industries. "Banks or public authorities, for example, have very strict security requirements that are not covered by the platforms offered. They demand complete integration, which requires open interfaces or even open source applications," clarifies Wörrlein.

"The promise of the providers of collaboration platforms sounds good," Wörrlein sums up. "However, legal uncertainty, lack of data protection, opaque solution structure and lack of adaptability make the use of these tools an uncertain matter, at least for companies with critical and personal data.“ 

About VNC

VNC - Virtual Network Consult AG, based in Switzerland, Germany and India, is a leading developer of open source-based enterprise applications and positions itself as an open and secure alternative to the established software giants. With VNClagoon, the organization with its global open source developer community has created an integrated product suite for enterprises, characterized by high security, state-of-the-art technology and low TCO. VNC's customers include system integrators and telcos as well as large enterprises and institutions. Further information:


Andrea Wörrlein
VNC – Virtual Network Consult AG
Poststrasse 24
CH-6302 Zug
Phone +41 (41) 727 52 00 

Franziska Fricke
Sendlinger-Tor-Platz 6
80336 München
Phone +49-89-59997-707