Xero chief executive Rod Drury says he has fielded “a few questions” from customers about the ability of US government agencies such as the NSA to access data stored in the cloud but there have been “no deletions”.
The Cloud Security Alliance, a worldwide group, recently published a survey showing that 10 per cent of officials at non-US companies had cancelled contracts with US cloud providers, and 56 per cent of non-US respondents were hesitant to work with US operators following the NSA/PRISM leaks.
“Our customers have had no real concerns,” he says. “There’s been a lot of concern expressed on social media but we’ve got in front of the issue with the cloud code of conduct.
“We’ve had no one ask us for access.”
He says, however, that Xero would comply with the law. “But we just won’t roll over for anyone wanting access to our data.”
He says it is extremely unlikely that US government agencies would take any interest in the financial data of small to medium sized businesses, which make up the majority of Xero customers.
Xero’s longer term focus on growth is the US.
Drury notes that an arrangement in New Zealand with Inland Revenue predates the issues. An amendment to the Tax Administration Act means it will be legal to use a cloud service such as Xero’s to store data offshore. Previously, the Act required taxpayers to keep their business records in New Zealand. Companies such as Xero can apply for a blanket exemption on behalf of all their customers.