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Re: Question about data security/hosting

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Mat_Scalpello
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hi,
New to Airtable, I work in Local Government in the UK and whilst I think the product would work well for some projects I need to understand where data is hosted.
Under our Government rules any data I store in the cloud has to be on UK based servers. Most cloud providers we work with offer some kind of location specific hosting of data. I cannot find any information about whether Airtable is able to offer this?
Thanks in advance

35 Replies 35

I love your product, but we can’t use it for most projects due to the data not being hosted in the EU.

At the end of the day what you say about GDPR, even if you are right, matters not. The discussion ends when the lawyers working for our clients state that sensitive data may not leave the EU. We either comply with this requirement or we don’t have a customer.

So please reconsider setting up hosting in EU!

Does this change your support for GDPR?

Hi Bill,

Thank you for sharing this!
It could have a positive impact, but this article isn’t clear enough about the implications:

  • what does that mean for data storage location, is it possible to switch to EU-located servers? what about data processing location?
  • does that mean that all EU license contract are with the London entity?

Could you help with this?

Best regards,
Ludo

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert on GDPR or any other privacy frameworks, policies, or laws.

Not that Airtable has indicated (yet).

That’s a problem. I believe it is mandatory for all data to be “processed” inside EU borders to be able to claim compliance. There are some exceptions, but it is a very complex topography.

As I am told, when the US opted into the Privacy Shield model in 2020, it failed to address the individual privacy rights as required by GDPR. The right to be forgotten as well as the mandatory appointment of data protection officers by processors of large quantities of personal information of EU data subjects are only some of the GDPR compliance requirements the EU-US Privacy Shield does not include.

That’s a question for Airtable; one that I would like addressed. However, I don’t think the presence of a company abates any of the underlying technical requirements to satisfy GDPR. But I do get the sense that Airtable would not likely create any EU presence without also accommodating GDPR compliance.

Ludovic_Moular1
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hi!
@Airtable would you have an answer to these questions?
Is it in your plans to enable data storage and/or processing in the EU any time soon?

Best,
Ludo

Hi Jason,
Do you have an update on this, please?
Do Airtable still have no plans to work out some kind of a solution to this issue?

Individuals who are exited about Airtable and who want to convince their organisations to use it, do not have the time or resources to argue against the lawyers in their own organisations. We are all still hoping for Airtable to provide us with an answer, so we can start using it.
All the best, Anna

Hi,
Would there be any update on this topic?

Best,
Ludo

Hello Ludo,
I started researching alternatives and I found one that I am very happy with, very similar to Airtable. I had no idea it existed (and it’s less than two years old), so I’m glad I did some research when I did not hear back from this forum thread.
I am disappointed with Airtable that they do not seem to want to address this issue. But I guess they have made their choice, and they are going to focus on the non-EU market. It probably makes sense for them.
But there are alternatives available available now, and the one I am using allows self-hosting. And if you go for the free basic option the “the servers are 100% located in Germany”.
Best wishes,
Anna

Hello Anna.
I have the same problem as you regarding the location of the Airtable server outside the EU (compliance problem). I just read that you had considered alternatives. What are they ? Thanks

Hello Christian,
I am not sure that I can mention a competitor’s name here. It does not feel quite right, when I really would have liked to support Airtable over the longer term. But I have now used that alternative since May and I love it.
How about this:
Google " Are you looking for an Airtable alternative?", and the name should come up. They are based in Germany. The name is similar to Airtable.
They have one feature that, as far as I’m aware (and I have to admit that I have lost track a bit now) Airtable do not have: You can share one set of data with other bases. Even with bases located in other groups (permission settings). This feature is named “common data set”. If you search for the German term “geteilter datensatz” in Youtube, you will come across it. I think that they may not have any English documentation available for this yet, but I’m sure they will create it soon. It’s a feature to watch. I think it is a very powerful feature: It allows you to have data about your customers, for example, in one base, and update it only there. From there, you can share it to other bases in other groups. And whenever you add a new customer to the original base, you will receive that core customer data into the other bases and can add information there for various unrelated activities. (I hope I explain it well enough. I means you do not need to store everything about a customer in one vast base.)
I hope this helps!
Anna

Christian_Leone
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hello Anna,
Thanks a lot.

HI! I am Canadian and we were ‘slapped’ with a new law (Bill 25 in Quebec) that forbids municipalities to have data hosted in usa AND under USA companies. I inquired if it was possible to have our invoices come from the new London offices instead of Airtable USA and they couldnt do as the London based office is not incorporated as a company itself but just an outside office of Airtable. I have been working with Airtable for the past 2 years and am absolutely in love with this platform and i am heartbroken to even think about having to redo everything with another platform. I dont understand how Caspio was able to host their data In Montreal, Qc through amazon but Airtable cant or wont.

We only found NocoDB, its open source and you can host it on your own server. We just miss, Extensions, Automations and Interfaces right now.

NocoDB looks pretty same as Airtable :slightly_smiling_face: You can host it on your own Server

We love Airtable, but we also need EU data Storage. Why there is no Solution for this?

Halimaamos
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I know this thread is like 3 years old, but I thought I’d chime in. I can totally understand your concerns regarding data security and hosting, especially when it comes to government rules. As far as I know, Airtable is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has data centers in the UK. But it's always good to double-check to make sure your data is being stored in the right location. In case you're still looking for a hosting provider that offers UK-based servers, I’d suggest checking out https://ishosting.com/en/dedicated/10gbps. They have some pretty impressive 10Gbps dedicated servers that could be just what you need. Plus, their website is super easy to navigate and has all the important details you need to make an informed decision.