Demystifying Canada’s Data Residency Policies

August 10, 2021

Joanne Yo
Canada Regional Lead, Atlassian

Wondering what types of data your agency can store in the cloud and still meet the Canadian government’s data residency requirements? You are not alone. The Canadian Federal Government maintains strict requirements for where government agencies can store their data. Plus, some Canadian provinces have their own regulations that layer on top of the federal ones. The country’s wide range of data residency policies makes it essential to understand which federal and local statutes apply to your data in choosing between Atlassian cloud and Atlassian Data Center hosting.

How data residency applies to government agencies throughout Canada

The digital revolution has created explosive growth in digital data production and cloud computing. But it has also produced concerns over sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII), classified data, and intellectual property (IP). Similar to how General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs the use of data by businesses in the European Union (EU) and elsewhere, data residency policies specify how and where individual countries and regions store, share, and transport sensitive data.

Canada has created a cloud-first strategy that establishes the cloud as the preferred choice for digital transformation initiatives. Still, data residency regulations may limit agencies from storing all of their data in a public or private cloud. Understanding what services your infrastructure host offers and whether they meet the government’s national or provincial requirements is the first step in determining where to store your data.

What data can be stored on Atlassian cloud?

Of the five levels of information security specified by the government, Levels A & B can be stored in the cloud. At the provincial level, Ontario, as an example, has some of the most detailed requirements of all the provinces. Deployments classified as high sensitivity must be hosted within Ontarian data centers. Non-sensitive information such as product data can be stored in any private, public, or community cloud service.

The Atlassian cloud platform is an enterprise-grade platform that delivers best-of-breed cloud experience paired with strong security features and support. We are currently evolving our data residency support for different countries and localities, including Canada, and will be available on our Atlassian Cloud Roadmap. In the meantime, rest assured that the Atlassian cloud infrastructure supports your application needs with industry-leading features, low latency, and robust security.

We currently host data in six Amazon Web Service (AWS) regions across the United States, Europe, and the Asia Pacific allowing for seamless migration between locations at any time. You can also deploy your Jira and Confluence data on AWS regions in the United States and Europe with the ability to store your in-scope product data within Canada’s borders in the near term. Plus, you can have complete confidence that your data is encrypted and transported with maximum security between locations because of our enhanced data management practices.

Choosing between Atlassian cloud and Data Center

Atlassian’s Standard, Premium, and Cloud Enterprise plans are ideal for ensuring anywhere accessibility, fast startup, easy scaling, maximum time-to-value, and many other benefits and security features, including data residency support. The Atlassian Data Center infrastructure is the preferred option for self-managed requirements, including those areas where we have not yet enabled local data residency compliance and or for those times where the agency prefers to keep data within its own firewall.

Expert support to help guide you through migration to one of Atlassian’s world-class platforms

Atlassian Solution Partners are available to walk you through the nuances of choosing the best infrastructure to meet your agency’s mission and the government’s compliance standards. The Atlassian provides more information on the various solutions, plans, and pricing and which configuration is best suited to empower your agency with the enterprise-level performance you need.

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