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Microsoft Pledges to Let EU Users Keep Data inside Bloc

Microsoft Pledges to Let EU Users Keep Data inside Bloc

Thursday, 6 May, 2021 - 11:15
A Microsoft logo is seen a day after Microsoft Corp's $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn Corp, in Los Angeles, California, US June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Microsoft is pledging to let business and public sector customers in the European Union keep cloud computing data inside the 27-nation bloc to avert concerns about US government access to sensitive information.

Microsoft “will go beyond our existing data storage commitments and enable you to process and store all your data in the EU," said Brad Smith, the US technology giant’s president.


“In other words, we will not need to move your data outside the EU," Smith wrote in a blog post Thursday, The Associated Press reported.


Microsoft is responding to customers that want stronger commitments on so-called data residency, Smith said. The updates will apply to the company's core cloud services including Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365.


Transatlantic data protection has been a growing concern since the European Union's top court struck down a data sharing agreement last year known as Privacy Shield.


The court said the agreement, which allowed businesses to transfer data to the US under the EU's strict data privacy rules, was invalid because it didn't go far enough to prevent the American government from snooping on user data.


Microsoft, which operates data centers in 13 European countries including France, Germany and Switzerland, will challenge any government request for an EU public sector or commercial customer’s personal data when there's a lawful basis for doing so, Smith said.


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