Google opens cloud computing data centre in London

data sharing, Google
Announcing the launch on their website, Dave Stiver, Google Cloud Platform Product Manager, wrote: “Incredible user experiences hinge on performant infrastructure.”

Google announced yesterday the opening of a new data centre for its cloud computing services

[London, UK] Google has opened its second European cloud computing data centre in London, announcing plans to open similar facilities in the Netherlands, Finland and Frankfurt.

The technology giant has also said it is committed to GDPR compliance across the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), which will be effective from May next year and is viewed as the most important change in European data and privacy law during the past two decades.

In an online statement for the GCP, Karen Bradley, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary of State, said it is ‘not surprising’ Google has chosen London as its latest region to launch its cloud data centre.

Mentioning a recent Digital Evolution Index analysis, Bradley added that London has seen a ‘record £5.6bn’ invested in technology over the past six months. In April, a report published by the government revealed UK digital health companies generated a turnover of over £1bn in 2016, with London considered a ‘hub’ for health IT tech firms. 

Announcing the launch, Dave Stiver, GCP Product Manager, wrote on the GCP website:

“Incredible user experiences hinge on performant infrastructure. GCP customers throughout the British Isles and Western Europe will see significant reductions in latency when they run their workloads in the London region.

“In cities like London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Amsterdam, our performance testing shows 40%-82% reductions in round-trip time latency when serving customers from London compared with the Belgium region.”

Google’s DeepMind Health controversy

But Google hasn’t had it easy in the UK for the past few weeks.

Its AI hub, DeepMind, has had to deal with controversy after controversy as a Freedom of Information request submitted by the New Scientist last year revealed that the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust gave its health division access to 1.6 million patient records for the testing of the Streams app.

DeepMind Health and Royal Free’s partnership involves a five-year contract to design and deploy a mobile app called Streams, which alerts a clinician as soon as a patient with acute kidney injury is thought to be at risk of deterioration. Initial reports revealed that the app has been saving nurses at the trust up to two hours a day.

At the beginning of July, an investigation conducted by the Information Commissioner’s Office revealed the NHS trust failed to comply with the Data Protection Act as patients were not ‘adequately informed’ of how their data would be used.

The first report carried out by DeepMind Health’s panel of Independent Reviews, released a few days after the ICO investigation outcome, has been criticised by campaigning groups.

Phil Booth, medConfidential Coordinator, said in a statement:

“The Reviewer's way to not criticise DeepMind is to avoid looking at all the things where DeepMind did anything wrong. The Reviewers may think “this is fine”, but anyone outside the Google bunker can see that something has gone catastrophically wrong with this project.”