Google has launched a new Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region in Brazil as part of a plan to intensify the provision of off-premise services to local clients.

One of the main draws of the new GCP hub is the ability for customers to pay for services in the local currency – Brazilian users had been paying in dollars until now.

Being able to pay in Brazilian reais also makes Google services more attractive to small and medium-sized companies unable to make international purchases easily or were hesitant to buy in dollars due to currency fluctuations in relation to the real.

Reduced latency is another highlight used by Google to promote the region to local clients, who get access to data 80-90 percent faster in comparison to the connection to the US state of South Carolina, the nearest to Brazil until the launch of the new region.

Based in São Paulo, this is the first GCP region set up by the company in South America. Apart from Brazil, the new center will also cater for clients in Chile and Argentina.

According to the company, some 3 million clients globally pay for Suite services and a three-digit growth in sales is expected for 2017.

Data disclosure: an ongoing debate

As Google launches its first Brazil-based cloud computing region, the debate around whether international companies should store customer data locally – as well as the extent to which they can disclose information – is still ongoing.

Online giants such as Facebook and Google itself have historically dragged their heels when it comes to removing content and providing user information with law enforcement bodies. This is partly due to the fact that the information was not stored in Brazil and therefore, companies was not subjected to local legislation.

Back in 2012, Google Brazil director Fabio Coelho was arrested after the company refused to take down a YouTube video that was supposedly offensive to a politician from the Brazilian city of Campo Grande.

Coelho was then released on the grounds that his employer would change its collaboration policy with the authorities, through a Term of Conduct Adjustment between Google and the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Judiciary.

Since then, the company adjusted its initial strategy and agreed to reveal data on user accounts, such as IP addresses, but still refuses to intercept emails and reveal their content, as their would violate users’ privacy.

Google refused to comment on whether its policies regarding data disclosure to Brazilian authorities (in cases of criminal investigations, for example) will change at all now that it stores data locally.



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