Only with open source marketing automation & web analytics platforms, such as Mautic and Matomo, do you have the opportunity to choose the geographical location of the data center where to host your infrastructure. Switzerland is located in close proximity to major Western and Central European markets with top-tier telecom infrastructure, making it an ideal place to host any web application with low latency for a European audience.
The Swiss have a long tradition of impartiality and neutrality. These principles extend to the country’s laws protecting personal data, including the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP), which has recently been revised to bring some of its provisions in line with the EU GDPR. A service provider (such as a web hosting company) in Switzerland cannot be ordered to hand over data to the authorities, unless they demonstrate probable cause to obtain a court injunction.
As a peaceful country with a robust economy, independent judicial system, and extremely low levels of corruption, Switzerland cannot be easily coerced by any foreign government to participate in “dragnet surveillance” activities, nor targeted probes of vulnerable targets, such as journalists, activists, and industrial espionage of trade secrets.
Even if you do not do business in Switzerland, using a Swiss hosting provider can provide security and peace of mind. Swiss data centers & cloud hosting companies typically ask for a premium compared to their EU and international counterparts because of the relatively higher operating costs (particularly land, utility, and labor costs) in the country. But it is well worth it. The money is invested into state-of-the-art technology and the most advanced operational standards that comply with industry best practices. The data centers we use, located in Zurich and Geneva, are ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, in addition to being PCI-DSS 3.2, SOC-1 Type II, and SOC-2 Type II compliant. The Swiss IaaS provider we recommend is compliant with Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) requirements and regulations, meaning that your data is protected by some of the same cybersecurity standards as Swiss banks and financial institutions.
Both the Zurich and Geneva data centers are operated by Equinix, a very well-respected data center & co-location facility operator around the world. The Geneva facility hosts some of the most critical Internet infrastructure for the region, based on its proximity to CERN, the birthplace of the Internet. It also uses completely renewable energy.
Switzerland’s lofty data protection standards can help companies targeting the European market meet their obligations under the GDPR, even though Switzerland itself is not subject to the GDPR – as a Schengen member outside of the EU. Data protection laws in Europe, including the GDPR, typically require data controllers and data processors to transfer data subjects’ data only to other countries that have comparable data protection laws, or intergovernmental agreements such as the EU/US Privacy Shield Framework.
A marketing automation platform, such as Mautic, stores an inordinate amount of personal data about your contacts, which could include website visitors, opt-in leads, and customers. Likewise, Matomo (formerly Piwik) tracks & profiles your users’ movements across web properties using cookies, IP addresses, and optionally, fingerprinting technology. If this information is not properly protected, you risk damaging the sacred trust that the public has in your brand, and incurring significant legal liability.
When you choose Mautic and Matomo hosted on your own virtual server in Switzerland (other other data center regions of your choice), you maintain control over exactly where your data is stored and processed. You can feel confident that your contact lists are not being resold, rented, or leased to third-parties, and rely on technical professionals to minimize the risk of data breaches and compromises. Besides routine security hardening such as RSA key-based authentication and using only the latest cipher suites for SSL/TLS, the server (and Mautic database) can be additionally encrypted at rest using LUKS for additional protection, and a 2-Factor Authentication plug-in is also available.
Contact the Autoize Europe team about open source marketing automation hosted in Switzerland, and how it can help your organization meet its data protection requirements while achieving its email marketing goals.