Thales News Release

Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP Research Examines Data Protection Practices In EU And Asia

February 12, 2013

New Report Validates Move Towards Encryption as Mandatory Security Requirement in Several International Jurisdictions

LONDON, England – February 12, 2013 – Thales, Inc., the leader in enterprise data security, has today announced the findings of research undertaken by Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP into the existing legal framework mandating encryption of personal data in the EU and Asia. The study details legal requirements in the EU and Asia and reveals a trajectory of data protection regulation towards encryption as a compliance imperative.

Click to tweet: Encryption a legal obligation for multi-national companies: #security #infosec

The litany of highly visible data breach incidents in 2012, further compounded by the steep penalties being delivered by data protection watchdogs, means that the pressure to protect the integrity and confidentiality of mission-critical information has never been greater. With today’s businesses concerned with protecting what matters as they operate across international borders, and with cloud computing practices now commonplace, data protection legislation has been propelled to the forefront of the corporate agenda.

Commissioned by Thales, Field Fisher Waterhouse’s paper examines the legal obligation to encrypt personal data in both Europe – with particular focus on the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain, and in Asia – focusing on Singapore, South Korea and Japan. The study details that the obligation to encrypt information often extends beyond personal data to other forms of confidential, non-personal data, specifically in the finance sectors.

“As this research demonstrates, the intricacies and abundance of data protection regulations today are aggravating compliance concerns for businesses that operate in multiple environments and geographies,” said Stewart Room, partner and data security specialist in Field Fisher Waterhouse’s Privacy and Information Law Group. “With the increased demand for transparency following security breaches, and tougher monetary penalties and legal sanctions for negligence, encryption of data is not only a reasonable expectation – but a near necessity.”

This paper further demonstrates how the legal focus on encryption has progressed from laptops and storage media to include databases, unstructured data, Big Data, the cloud and application data. In doing so, encryption represents the most comprehensive means of keeping sensitive data safe and certifying compliance.

“More and more companies today find themselves in a quandary trying to protect what matters by implementing a security solution that effectively protects their sensitive data while also satisfying myriad country-specific compliance regulations across the geographies where they operate,” said Paul Ayers, VP EMEA at Thales. “Encryption, with associated key management , effectively separates and defines who can access what data where, thereby mitigating not only the risk of an embarrassing data breach but also the associated legal ramifications for lack of security due diligence.”

To obtain a copy of the full report, please visit:

About Thales

Thales is the industry leader in data security solutions that span physical, virtual and cloud environments. Data is the new currency and Thales helps enterprise customers and government agencies protect what matters — their sensitive data — from both internal and external threats. The company's scalable solution suite protects any file, any database and any application — anywhere it resides — while maintaining application performance and avoiding key management complexity. Many of the world's largest and most security-conscious organisations and government agencies, including 17 of the Fortune 25, have standardised on Thales to protect their sensitive data and provide them with advanced security intelligence. For more information, visit

About Field Fisher Waterhouse

Clients choose to work with us because we can provide exceptional lawyers with industry expertise. Our strong commercial knowledge of their businesses enables us to work with them to maximise their market opportunities. They value our flexible approach to teamwork and that we will shape our structures and way of working to meet their specific needs.

We have a particular focus on industries that are highly regulated and those with intellectual property and technology driven business models. We are acknowledged as leading experts in sectors such as technology media & telecommunications, hotels retail & leisure as well as for our public sector work. We have 151 partners, over 376 other lawyers and nearly 300 support staff across offices in Brussels, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, London, Manchester, Munich, Palo Alto and Paris. We also have an exclusive relationship with Italian law firm, La Scala.

Our main areas of practice are corporate, IP, technology and outsourcing and regulatory law. We also have leading expertise in areas such as data protection and privacy, banking and finance, financial services, real estate, dispute resolution, personal injury and medical negligence.

Our client base includes multinationals, listed and unlisted companies, regulators, public bodies and government departments, Royal Charter bodies, financial institutions, professional partnerships, trade associations, and charities.

In addition, our firm is a founding member of Ecomlex, an alliance of independent European firms. Ecomlex was established to meet the needs of businesses throughout Europe. As members, we are able to partner with legal experts across Europe in countries where we do not already have an office to address the cross-border requirements of our clients as required.

Media Contacts:

Thales USA
Monika Hathaway
Sterling Communications
+1(408) 395-5500
vormetric@sterlingpr.comVormetric UK/EMEA
Jonathan Mathias / Kasia Murphy
Johnson King
+44 (0)20 7401 7968 South Korea
Mina Jeong
+82 2 566-8898