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NTT Global Data Centers, FTC Settle Privacy Shield Case

The case stems from FTC allegations that the company, formerly known as RagingWire Data Centers, misled consumers about its adherence to the Privacy Shield framework which governs the privacy of European Union data sent to the United States.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday said that the agency and NTT Global Data Centers have agreed to settle allegations that the firm misled consumers about how it participated in the Privacy Shield framework and its failure to conduct business according to its data privacy requirements.

The FTC alleged that NTT Global Data Centers did not adhere to the Privacy Shield framework both before and after its certification lapsed.

NTT Global Data Centers did not respond to a CRN request for further information by press time.

[Related: 15 New Flash Storage Products Heating Up The Data Center Market]

The Privacy Shield framework was designed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the European Commission, and the Swiss Administration to give companies in the U.S. and Europe a clear mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the European Union and Switzerland to the U.S.

The FTC in November of 2019 alleged that NTT Global Data Centers, which was previously known as RagingWire Data Centers, between January 2017 and October 2018 claimed in its online privacy policy that the company participated in the Privacy Shield framework and complied with the program’s requirements despite the lapse of its certification in January 2018.

RagingWire was warned twice by the U.S. Department of Commerce that it needed to remove the claims or recertify its participation in the Privacy Shield program, but the FTC said that recertification was done only after RagingWire was contacted by the FTC in October 2018.

In the proposed settlement, which is subject to a 30-day public comment period, NTT Global Data Centers will be required to hire a third-party assessor to verify that it is adhering to its Privacy Shield promises to continue working with the framework.

NTT Global Data Centers will also not be allowed to misrepresent its participation in the Privacy Shield framework any other government-sponsored, self-regulatory, or standards organization's privacy or data security program, and must adhere to Privacy Shield framework protections to personal data should its certification lapse in the future.

NTT Global Data Centers was founded in late 2018 by NTT Communications as a new subsidiary to handle new data center construction, asset management and services sales for NTT Group companies in a move to boost data center investments on a global scale.

Prior to that, NTT Communications in 2014 acquired about 80 percent of RagingWire Data Centers, a designer, builder, and operator of mission critical data centers. NTT Communications in early 2018 then acquired the remaining shares to make RagingWire its Americas data center platform for its data center business in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, and South America under the global Nexcenter brand.

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