DATA – the four letters that are on every company’s radar. Whether you’re mining it, selling it, analysing it, or protecting it, it’s a topic that’s always front and center. In late 2015, we saw the issue of data protection raise its head once again when the Safe Harbor agreement was deemed invalid. Fast forward to February 2016 and the plot thickens with the introduction of the EU-US Privacy Shield (more on that in a moment).
At this point, we had our fair share of inquiries from customers asking if there was an option to have their data hosted in the EU instead of the US. We thought about it, discussed it with the team, and decided this was something we needed to explore sooner rather than later. Eight months after we set the plan in motion, we’re happy to tell you that the day has finally arrived and we now offer EU hosting across all three of our products. Huzzah!
Let’s face it, data protection is hardly the most exciting topic of all time, so bear with us while we delve into the nitty gritty for a moment:
What is Privacy Shield?
Privacy Shield is Safe Harbor 2.0. It’s a framework designed to protect the data of European citizens should the data be held in the US or by a US-based organization. As per the European Commission’s website, Privacy Shield offers:

  • Strong data protection obligations on companies receiving personal data from the EU
  • Safeguards on US government access to data
  • Effective protection and redress for individuals
  • Annual joint review to monitor the implementation

This new framework lives up to the requirements of the European Court of Justice.
So, why offer EU hosting when there’s Privacy Shield?
In theory, Privacy Shield is the ideal solution to all data protection problems, but there seems to be an overwhelming sense of unease. Many feel that it’s less than adequate when it comes to protecting the rights of European citizens and claim that it’s only a matter of time before they change it again.
It’s not up to us, but the debate rumbles on. The most important thing though, is that our users know that their privacy is always a top priority for us. After speaking with them and monitoring the current data protection landscape, we felt the best thing to do would be to give anyone that uses our products the option to choose where we host their data.
I want my data in the EU – What do I need to know?
We’re happy to accommodate both new and existing users moving over or signing up to EU hosting, but first things first:

  • EU hosting is available from our data centres in Dublin, Ireland. We don’t have plans at this time to have data centres in other European locations.
  • EU hosting is available on all price plans.
  • Once you’re on EU servers your site URL will look like company.eu.teamwork.com – everything else will look the exact same.
  • Payment will still be made in US dollars. There’s no change to our pricing.
  • Anyone can avail of EU hosting, it doesn’t just apply to our European customers.
  • Please note that EU hosting only applies to our suite of products and does not apply to any third-party operators. Due to the nature of SaaS, this is outside of our control. A list of these third parties is available through our webpage.
  • When signing up for EU hosting, you’ll need to check the box that says “I want my site hosted in the EU”, otherwise your data will be stored on US servers.
  • Existing users, we’ll need to manually migrate your data over to European servers. At this time we’re experiencing high levels of demand for EU hosting. Any requests for migration received after today November 8th, will have a waiting time of two weeks. Requests will be handled in the order they’re received. We’ll do everything in our power to do this at a time that is least disruptive and most convenient for you

We hope that this makes life a bit easier for anyone concerned about the privacy of their data. Whether you use our project management software, our helpdesk tool, or our real-time messenger you can rest assured that we always strive for the highest level of privacy and security.
We welcome any questions you have about EU hosting. Leave a comment below or reach out to our support team at support@teamwork.com.