French junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said Tuesday that Europe is running out of time to "wean itself" off the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing platform, as she fears that the U.S. government could collect data from European firms. AWS has become the largest digital storage service on the European continent.

"AWS is a soft drug. The more you take it, the more you like it … so weaning yourself off seems complicated to me," Runacher said.

Although AWS has said that it cares about data privacy, European authorities have worried about a law signed last year by President Donald Trump: the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD). The CLOUD Act could potentially allow U.S. intelligence agencies to demand access to data from AWS, which creates not only a risk for European companies but also for European governments that store data on the platform.

Ulrich Kelber, Germany's federal data commissioner for data protection and freedom of information, said earlier this year that "for the storage of such sensitive data, we need a cloud provider that is exclusively subject to European data protection law – not a provider that is also subject to the U.S. CLOUD Act."

The European Data Protection Board has said that the CLOUD Act may come into conflict with EU member states' national legislation that prevents information disclosures and transfers to third countries.

In a March 2018 article in Slate, Sharon Bradford Franklin noted that the CLOUD ACT may harm privacy rights and human rights, since it "fails to require foreign governments to conduct prior independent reviews of data requests before they are sent to U.S. providers" and because it "permits foreign countries, for the first time, to demand that U.S. tech companies provide communications data in real time."

Despite concerns from European politicians, AWS continues to expand in Europe, setting up a new office in Munich that will create 500 jobs.