Defence company Thales has selected Google Cloud computing services for the storage of some of France’s most sensitive data.
The alliance between Thales, the largest defence electronics supplier in Europe, and the Alphabet unit fulfils a May government plan under which France acknowledged U.S. technological superiority in the field.
Earlier, the French government said that cloud computing services developed by Microsoft and Google could be used to store France’s most sensitive state and corporate data, provided the services were licensed to French companies.
Thales and Google Cloud said they will create a France-based company and Thales will be the majority shareholder.
That company will provide the whole range of Google Cloud’s services but its network and servers would be separate from those used for regular Google clients.
“The company is going to run Google software on its infrastructure… with layers of security to ensure cybersecurity and protection of data from extraterritorial rules,” said Marc Darmon, head of secure communications and information systems at Thales.
Google, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS) dominate cloud storage worldwide, fuelling concerns in Europe over the risk of surveillance by the United States in the wake of the adoption of the U.S. CLOUD Act of 2018.
The Thales-Google company would compete against Bleu, a joint company to be set up by IT consulting firm Capgemini and telecoms group Orange and which aims to use Microsoft’s cloud technology.