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    Iceland: A New Safe Haven for Data Privacy?

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    Despite its remoteness and a population of barely over 323,000, Iceland has all the potential to become a new data privacy center: its strategic location, easy accessibility to both North America and Europe, predictable legal structure, low electricity costs, as well as its cool climate good for data servers make it a safe haven for data storage.

    MOSCOW, December 29 (Sputnik) — A recent report published by Verne Global, a developer of energy-efficient data center campuses, stresses Iceland's major advantages as a potential location for a privacy-oriented data center.

    According to Tate Cantrell, the company's Chief Technical Officer, (CTO), the country’s climate is among the key features.

    "Data centers require lots of cooling. You have data in and data out, with heat as the byproduct. In Iceland, the cooling is free," he explained to Forbes magazine.

    Iceland is also relatively secure. It has multiple sources of renewable power, is easily accessible to North America and Europe, and has a highly redundant power grid.

    "We have focused on the German market – if it can be stored in Germany, it can be stored in Iceland, as long as you handle the encryption. It’s a good place for companies concerned about data privacy," Cantrell says. Iceland is committed to EU directive 9546, the data privacy standard for all countries.

    Iceland is the world’s largest electricity producer per capita; 80% of the island's electricity is produced using hydroelectric power stations. It features a vast reservoir storage capacity that the company’s CTO characterizes as a “natural battery”. Additionally, Iceland is starting to use its geothermal capacity (which is already used for heating) to produce electricity and is developing wind resources.

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    As a result, its electricity costs are predictable and it has a highly redundant power grid. All of this is seen by the company a huge growth opportunity.

    The company already has one data storage facility in the country. It began operations in 2012 and is located in the town of Keflavik in the Reykjanes region of southwest Iceland, on the site of the former NATO airbase.

    The company is planning for a future network of data centers that will ultimately be located based on geography.

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