Finding an organization to host your sensitive documents can be a difficult task, one that we deal with on a daily basis. We speak with our clients daily, and understand the fears associated with hosting your private documents, especially on US servers.
With this said, many of the fears we hear about hosting in the US are often misunderstood. Whether you are located in the United States, or in Canada, having your files hosted in the US will ensure that your information remains safe and secure.
The most important aspect of choosing a host provider is to look at the organization’s track record. There are a handful of reputable companies that have been safely storing information on their servers for many years. This offers a better environment for your important data as you have the added security knowing this company has been dealing with the sensitive information of many individuals over its years in business. LedgerDocs, for example, uses the American based Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) for the storage of sensitive information. This service offers many regions where your data can be physically stored such as US Standard servers or US West servers. Security is one of their key features, offering such things as control of access as well as encryption services for your data. Additionally, Amazon S3 offers Versioning. This allows for all versions of a specific object to be stored, making for easy retrieval of backups and older versions of files should they be needed.
More often than not when deciding to store data on US servers, there is talk about the Patriot Act of 2001 and how this allows the American government to access information stored on US servers in the course of an investigation. What many people do not know is that there is a similar act in Canada referred to as the National Defence Act. These Acts are intended to prevent terrorism, and allows for multiple government agencies to acquire any data or information that they deem necessary in their investigation. This should not discourage the choice of business owners to use US servers to store data, as many of the well-known organizations are based in the US. Unless the authorities have reason to believe you are conducting business outside the confines of the law or you are aiding a suspected terrorist, then there is no reason that they should have a need to acquire any of your information. For full details on the extent to which the Act gives authority to government agencies see the Patriot Act here in its entirety.
Lastly, even though you do not realize it, you may already have sensitive information stored on US servers. Email providers such as Gmail or Hotmail, both of whom store their data on US servers, offer secure storage solutions for your sensitive data sent through their emailing service. With the different levels of security offered by data hosting companies and some knowledge of how the Patriot Act work in terms of sensitive business data, there is no reason to doubt that your data will remain confidential.