Writer Wen Hsieh      Photo Microsoft       01.11.2020

What are related issues about the environmental impacts from this growth, while we defend awareness for digital data protection? Energy wasting. The energy used by the internet is largely invisible, such as our phones, laptops and so on. The feeling and the financial cost of using the energy is light as a feather for us, compared to the electric heating of our homes and offices for example. But globally the environmental costs of both producing the hardware and running the data banks is enormous, and is rising exponentially, contributing to global unsustainability. It therefore potentially represents a major environmental threat. (Microsoft. 2018) For example, as the study builds on the 2018 Microsoft report ” As the world’s use of cloud computing accelerates, so too does the energy consumed in the cloud. In the United States alone, datacenters consume about 70 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year, roughly 1.8 percent of the total electricity consumed in the country. This number is expected to grow to 73 billion kWh by 2020, about the same amount of energy that 6 million homes consume in one year.” (Microsoft. 2018, p5 )

As the book ” Data protection : a practical guide to UK and EU law ” offers that data controllers should consider the cost of implementation of relevant measures, meanwhile, they should continue upgrading the changing tech, consequently the organisation remains consistent over time. ( Carey 2009 ). Microsoft is committed to maintaining data with improving tech. The final phase of Microsoft’s years of hard work has proved that the concept of underwater datacenters as feasible both environmentally and economically, but also it is logistically possible. They prove that by placing datacenters underwater near coastal cities, data will be able to travel over short distances, enabling fast and smooth web surfing, video streaming. They believe underwater datacenters works, because more than half of the world’s population lives within 120 miles of the coast. (Microsoft. 09.14.2020)

Yet, the public need to consider the expiration date of human data, even if Microsoft finds that underwater datacenters can reduce environmental pollution and use energy sustainably. That is to say, whether the data use value of the dead is equivalent to its long-term storage value. When data rights conflict with environmental pollution, how should we choose as human beings? Should we abandon the accumulation of wisdom or protect the environment? Maybe, it is worth idea by Peter Carey that ” ‘data minimisation’ principle also applies to the number of copies personal data in existence in an organization.” ( Carey 2009 )

The value of data is subjective. I discussed before to improve the awareness of digital data protection, and to focus on the promotion of people’s awareness of protection. People should regard their right to use data as property and make proper planning. I personally believe that all human beings are valuable and meaningful in this world. The evolution of human progress is formed by the accumulation and analysis of human data. Perhaps through more data analysis, human beings will find more progress and better green energy sustainability. In this article, I don’t mean that I don’t attach importance to environmental protection, but to inspire the public to think about the ownership of data after death? Who owns the ownership of data after a person death? The government? Consortium? Or after their own offspring?


Important information sharing here:

– Data protection law is applicable – examples include trading methods, financial reports and commercial secrets.

– Data Protection Act, 7th Data Protection Principle.
Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, damage to, personal data.

– Organisational measure include relevant and appropriate training for all staff that use, or have access to, personal data in the workplace.

– When transferring personal data to organization that are located in countries outside the European Economic Area, data controllers are subject to the restrictions contained in the Eighth Data Protection Principle. Whilst such a transfer is no different from any other form of personal data processing in a strictly legal sense, the security obligations will, in practice, be particularly important in this context.

By Carey, Peter. Data protection : a practical guide to UK and EU law. ( p95 – p101)










-Carey, Peter. Data protection : a practical guide to UK and EU law. Publisher: Oxford ; Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN: 0199563543; 9780199563548. ( p95 – p101)

– Microsoft. 2018. The Carbon Benefits of Cloud Computing: a Study of the Microsoft Cloud. Date Published: 7/29/2020.

– Microsoft. 09.14.2020. Microsoft finds underwater datacenters are reliable, practical and use energy sustainably

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