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A crack in the EU wall: Dutch bank regulators OK Amazon cloud use

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The question of whether European businesses can or will trust workloads and customer data to Amazon Web Services(s amzn) has dogged that company since well before news of U.S. data gathering practices went public. But now at least one country’s banking regulators appear to have given AWS the green light.

De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the banking regulator in the Netherlands has approved the use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in “all facets of Dutch financial operations,” according to a statement from Amazon’s European office and Computerweekly.  According to the statement, the regulatory blessing covers:

“all facets of Dutch financial operations, such as websites, mobile applications, retail banking platforms, high performance computing and credit risk analysis solutions.  Additionally, the storage and management of all levels of data on the AWS Cloud, as well as the use of technology that runs on top of AWS and is provided by third party vendors, are also included.”

AWS and other U.S.-based cloud companies have to be concerned about regulatory hurdles to their use in Europe, where data privacy laws are serious business. The concern is that any U.S.-based IT vendor would be subject to requests for information on European citizens and that simply doesn’t fly, especially in privacy obsessed Germany and Switzerland. As we’ve reported before, any self-respecting E.U.-based cloud provider will do its best to capitalize on that fear. Amazon, HP(s hpq), Microsoft(s msft) and other American competitors have to show that they are worthy stewards of citizens’ data.

Amazon said this approval comes after other European banking concerns including Spain’s Bankinter and Italy’s Unicredit have already okayed the use of AWS.

The viability of using U.S.-based cloud companies in the European Union will be a topic of conversation at Structure:Europe in London in September.