Europe’s on a roll with big data — will new privacy regulations halt it?


After years of lagging behind the U.S. in big data, Europe has just about caught up, according to John Kreisa (pictured), vice president of international marketing at Hortonworks Inc. But will the EU’s new data privacy legislation break their stride?

“We used to say when I first moved over here that Europe was maybe a year and a half behind the U.S. in terms of adoption,” Kreisa said. But today there is little noticeable difference between the two markets, he explained.

Kreisa spoke to John Furrier (@furrier) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during the DataWorks Summit in Munich, Germany. (*Disclosure below.)

“A lot of the conversations are the exact same conversations that we’re having with the European [as with] the US companies,” he said.

In fact, the Internet of Things, particularly Industrial IoT, is an area where Europe appears to be outpacing the U.S., Kriesa stated. The question is whether Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation will throw a wrench in progress.

Conversations with European customers already reflect concerns about the GDPR, Kriesa said. “There’s other rules and regulations that are coming into place, and I think [EU customers are] a little bit more advanced in how they think of data, personal data, and how it should be treated,” he explained. “Consequently, those are where the conversations are about the platform — how do we secure it, how does it get governed?”

U.S. is data Wild West

By contrast, the U.S. is still relatively loose on regulations, so companies are more narrowly focused on how fast they can move.

“Customers in the U.S. are still very much wanting to use the shiniest new thing, like the very latest version of Spark or the very latest version of NiFi,” said Kriesa. Apache Spark is an open-source big data processing tool, and Apache NiFi is a data processing and distribution tool.

Time will tell if new laws stymie Europe or give it a head start navigating rules that might inevitably spring up in the US later.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of DataWorks Summit 2017 EU(*Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner at DataWorks. The conference sponsor, Hortonworks, does not have editorial oversight of content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE