Stéphanie Finck-Piccin (Salesforce): “We fully agree on the principle of clear rules on data protection”

Stéphanie Finck-Piccin is vice-president EMEA “Government Affairs & Public Policy” at Salesforce, the world leader in customer relationship management solutions. She answers our questions about the cloud of trust.

Is there one or more lobbies in Brussels, in terms of the cloud?

Stephanie Finck-Piccin: Having been in Brussels for 15 years, I have always noticed that there is a gap between companies and European legislation on fairly technical subjects such as personal data (GDPR) or cloud computing. We have a duty to explain the technology to government authorities but also, and above all, to listen to them. So, I would rather talk about transparency and a code of ethics to uphold.

This dialogue is important: for example, 10 years ago, at Salesforce, we chose to consult the CNIL and have since made it our reference authority at European level for the protection of personal data.

Is the concept of cloud of trust a form of anti-Americanism?

SF-P. : The concept does not bother us. On the contrary. Trust is a core value at Salesforce. But legally, there remains a certain vagueness. The key question is that of strategic autonomy. Our primary concern is to meet the expectations of our customers, such as the localization of data in Europe. And we fully agree on the principle of clear rules on data protection.

That European companies wish not to be subject to the American Cloud Act is legitimate. We are considering various options to open up to European cloud players.

What to think of the Gaia-X initiative bringing together European players?

SF-P. : You can’t blame companies for wanting more autonomy. And the fact that Europe wants to develop and bring out major players in Europe is legitimate. But technology should not be reduced to the nationality of the company developing it. It would be damaging.

It is to be hoped that the discussions will lead to a “cloud of trust” legal framework based on open, transparent rules and specifications. Between the United States and Europe, we share the same values. It would therefore be desirable to reach a consensus and bring regulations closer together.

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