Atos CEO calls for 'Schengen for data'
Atos CEO Thierry Breton, a former French minister of finance, told Europe 1 that he will propose to president Hollande and German chancellor Merkel that they lobby their counterparts for the creation a "Schengen for data", in reference to the 1995 Schengen Agreement that removed border controls between ten EU member states. Breton said he would recommend that a new agreement enable the protection of European companies' data by basing it in European data centres, support the economy and create jobs, while giving users all the freedoms they want from the internet. Calling data the 'black gold of tomorrow', he refered to cyberspace as a analogous to the seas and space in earlier centuries. The Franco-German initiative would allow these Europe to protect itself as do the US and China, according to Breton, who was also chairman and CEO of France Telecom for three years. He cited the revelations about the US government's Prism programme, acknowledging that France had similar systems in place. Atos is an IT services provider and data centre provider which, among other jobs, handled the London olympics, where systems were threatened by 200 incidents per second, he added. The company will also be repsonsible for IT systems in Rio.