Cloud content management company Box has launched a UK content storage zone to ensure organisations can meet data regulations post-Brexit.

Box Zones UK consists of a primary data centre in London, as well as a secondary centre in Cardiff. It means that both British and multinational organisations handling UK data will be able to keep it within the UK and ensure it meets the country’s data residency demands.

“Businesses today face a complex and evolving regulatory landscape, none more so than here in Britain,” said Chris Baker, Box senior vice president and general manager of EMEA.

“With the Brexit decision pending and the impact on regulation such as GDPR unknown, UK and European businesses are searching for ways to guarantee business continuity. The UK Zone will help companies to address data sovereignty concerns and provide certainty around their content.”

Whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations, the US content management firm is aiming to future proof content storage for its customers.

“The biggest concern that organisations have planning for the longer term is that there will be a divergence from what the EU says and over time what the UK says,” he told Verdict.

“So you’ve got to plan for that. Because when you’re making decisions about data centres, data residency and data privacy – once you’ve made them it’s quite difficult to change them.”

The offering comes after Box received feedback from organisations and business leaders expressing concerns around the uncertainty of Brexit and being able to plan long term.

“That paralysis is almost a worst-case scenario,” Baker said.

 How will the data landscape look post-Brexit?

The government has previously said that it will incorporate GDPR into UK law if the UK leaves without a data arrangement, but there is still much uncertainty.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, for example, the UK will become a “third country”. This means it will have to prove that it has adequate data legislation to receive EU data flows.

Because the UK is not on this list, it may require organisations to carry out additional work to comply with EU regulations.

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Box aims to provide organisations with certainty in this area by ensuring content stored in Box Zones UK meets the latest regulations.

And with Box’s seven other data zones, businesses who want absolute certainty over their compliance can migrate data to the appropriate residency in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Singapore or the US.

Box Zones UK and police data sharing

MPs have also raised concerns about the possibility that the UK faces a data sharing “cliff edge” when it comes to police intelligence. There is also a complex flow of documents, such as evidence and court documents, that needs to have a transparent audit trail.

The Metropolitan Police Service is a long time customer of Box and in a post-Brexit world will use Box technology to continue fast, cross-border collaboration with European police forces.

“The integrity of evidence is paramount,” Baker told Verdict. “So if anyone can question the integrity of evidence, bad guys get off and the evidence gets thrown out.

Another Box customer is Virgin Trains. Chief information officer John Sullivan said that Box Zones UK will give the train company “more choice and control” over its content.

“It is great to see Box’s continued commitment to helping UK customers like Virgin Trains proactively prepare our data residency strategy,” he added.


Read more: UK tech industry responds to no-deal Brexit “uncertainty”