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Equinix joins Europe’s Gaia-X digital infrastructure project

Peter Waters Equinix.jpg

Equinix has joined Gaia-X, a project to speed creation of a sovereign European digital infrastructure.

The company says it will share its interconnection expertise with academics, government representatives and digital service providers, in a push for European data sovereignty.

Peter Waters (pictured), chief privacy officer for Equinix, said: “Equinix hopes to use its vast expertise in interconnection and digital infrastructure to play a key role in bringing this ground-breaking project to fruition as part of the company’s global efforts to play a role in future-proofing businesses and societies alike.”

Gaia-X was founded by 22 companies and organisations in January 2021, and it now has over 340 member companies.

It aims to build a framework of open information technology standards and APIs to support a comparable and decentralised regional, federated digital infrastructure. “This qualified data infrastructure will enable European service providers to interoperate and exchange data through an interconnected ecosystem of providers,” said Equinix.

The company said: “Given recent geopolitical developments, European leaders are focused on ensuring solidarity and assurance, including in matters such as data privacy and digital sovereignty. The Gaia-X project was born from this desire to develop the next generation of digital infrastructure for Europe, ensuring European values of transparency, openness, data protection, and security are fully embedded.”

Equinix announced its membership on the eve of Gaia-X’s latest annual summit, which takes place in Paris on Thursday and Friday this week.

Francesco Bonfiglio, CEO of Gaia-X, said: “This year’s summit is evidence of the move of Gaia-X from an initial concept to the adoption phase, the overall growth and reach of Gaia-X. It shows we are walking the talk and making the necessary steps to start a concrete market adoption from 2023.”

At Equinix, Waters said: “In recent years, cybersecurity vulnerabilities have increased due to the vast amounts of data generated by companies as they grow their digital footprints to meet demand. Digital ecosystems should be designed to meet data privacy requirements, but also foster a free, but secure, flow of data, so users can collaborate without needing to worry about security issues.”

Equinix said it aims to further the project by sharing its expertise in delivering a global, federated network interconnection platform, based on neutral traffic exchange points. It noted that Gaia-X members “are also working towards a common repository of data sources and infrastructure systems to ensure stored data can be exchanged in conformance with European data protection regulations, addressing data sovereignty goals, availability and innovation”.

Waters said: “We are pleased to offer our expertise to support Gaia-X’s mission to create a federated and secure data infrastructure where businesses and individuals can retain data sovereignty and ensure their data can be exchanged, securely.”