Trade secrets cited in emissions transparency battle

Canberra Data Centres argue disclosure could reveal ‘trade secrets’ about its data centre operations to competitors
17 August 2022
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New documents obtained by iTnews reveal  that Canberra Data Centres or CDC has claimed confidentiality over its greenhouse gas emissions data, arguing disclosure could reveal ‘trade secrets’ about its data centre operations to competitors.

The application for secrecy under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme – which was made in November 2021 – is continuing to be assessed by the regulator tasked with monitoring and reducing emissions.

Under the NGER Act, companies can apply to have their data withheld on the grounds that publication could reveal trade secrets or a “matter of commercial value that would be destroyed or diminished”.

The data centre provider is attempting to have its greenhouse gas emissions data from last year withheld from public release, on the grounds that the information is commercial in confidence.

When approached by iTnews a  spokesperson for CDC declined to comment, but said the company is “dedicated to keeping their clients’ data safe and secure”.

CDC's confidentiality claims run counter to general trends observed in the industry around the disclosure of environmental and sustainability initiatives.

Speaking about the industry generally, Forrester principal analyst Sam Higgins said it was hard to understand why any company would want to withhold information at a time when clients were becoming increasingly savvy about environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting.

- CyberBeat

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