Artmotion is one of those companies whose name doesn’t portray what it does. Mateo Meier lends his time to find out more about a company whose level of secrecy and its close connections to some of the world’s biggest banks and tobacco companies are a credit to the culture of neutrality of the Helvetians.
Swiss banks are known to be governed by stringent laws, which also are a derivative of the nation’s privacy legislation, and now – thanks to the PRISM scandal – the country is fast becoming the ideal location for those turning their back on the cloud, says Mateo Meier, director at Artmotion, Switzerland’s biggest offshore hosting company.
As a result of the recent leaks of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programme (PRISM), which sparked growing concern over data privacy, businesses are now turning to Switzerland for their data hosting needs.
Swiss hosting companies are seeing growth because privacy in Switzerland is enshrined in law. As the country is outside of the EU, it is not bound by pan-European agreements to share data with other member states, or other non EU countries. Artmotion, for example, has witnessed 45 per cent growth in revenue amid this new demand for heightened privacy.
Until now, the PRISM scandal has focused on the privacy of the individual, but surveillance undertaken by the NSA and Britain’s own GCHQ has spurred corporate concern about the risks associated with using American based cloud providers. Neelie Kroes, the European Commission Vice President went on to state that “the NSA scandal has had a chilling effect in Europe; businesses are worried about their resources being controlled by someone else.” It is especially troubling for businesses with data privacy issues, such as banks or healthcare organisations with ‘secret’ research and development needs.
However, the scandal has unearthed significant risks to data for businesses, as well as for their customers. With US cloud service providers, the government can request business information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act without the company in question ever knowing.
The desire for privacy has therefore seen a surge in corporations turning to ‘Silicon’ Switzerland to take advantage of the country’s renowned privacy culture. Mateo Meier said: “Unlike the US or the rest of Europe, Switzerland offers many data security benefits. For instance, as the country is not a member of the EU, the only way to gain access to our data hosted within our Datacentre is if the company receives an official court order proving guilt or liability. This procedure applies to all countries requesting any information from a Swiss datacentre.”
Founded in 2000, Artmotion specialises in secure IT solutions located in Switzerland, with a focus on data centre and server offerings. The company’s services attract an international clientele looking to benefit from Switzerland’s central location, respect for confidentiality and tax advantages. Strong demand for these solutions has helped Artmotion record an annual growth rate of over 45 per cent.