Microsoft president, Brad Smith on Thursday said the data of Microsoft’s EU customers would only be processed and stored in the European Union in the future.
Smith made the announcement while addressing data protection concerns in Europe.
“We will not need to move your data outside the EU,’’ Smith wrote in a blog entry.
Microsoft’s new plan for an “EU data boundary’’ is directed at commercial or public sector customers in the EU, however, and not private users.
“This commitment will apply across all of Microsoft’s core cloud services: Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365,’’ Smith said.
Microsoft is responding to two rulings by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on data exchange between the U.S. and Europe.
At the instigation of data protection activist Max Schrems, the court first overturned the “Safe Harbour” agreement in October 2015.
In June 2020, Schrems also brought down the successor “Privacy Shield” agreement before the ECJ.
The two rulings largely removed the legal foundation for commercial data transfer to the U.S.
According to the EU court, the level of data protection in the U.S. is not comparable to the EU.
The U.S. Cloud Act, which grants the U.S. intelligence services extensive rights to access the data of companies, is viewed critically.