Microsoft launches EU ‘data boundary’ from next year • The Register

Microsoft launches EU ‘data boundary’ from next year • The Register


Microsoft has confirmed that from the beginning of 2023, it will introduce an EU Data Boundary solution designed to help customers in the European Union and the European Free Trade Association comply with legislation including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

From January 1st, the Redmond tech monster promises to give customers the ability to store and process their customer data within the EU Data Boundary for Microsoft 365, Azure, Power Platform and Dynamics 365 services.

The move expands on existing local storage and processing commitments, “greatly reducing data flows out of Europe and building on our industry-leading data residency solutions,” said Julie Brill, corporate VP and chief privacy officer, and Erin Chapple, corporate VP, in a blog posted today.

Microsoft said it would expand the EU Data Boundary to include the storage and processing of additional categories of personal data, including data provided when receiving technical support, in future phases. Although it mentioned no specific EU laws, Microsoft promised the solution would help customers meet “regulatory requirements and industry-specific standards.”

Within the European Union, global businesses have had to comply with legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduced in 2018, which protects user privacy and places restrictions on organisations that govern how they can move data across international boundaries.

While the UK currently enjoys an “adequacy” ruling allowing data sharing with the EU, the US position is more doubtful, since the so-called Schrems II ruling struck down the Privacy Shield arrangement.

Although EU has issued a draft decision agreeing that measures taken by the United States ensure sufficient protection for personal data to be transferred from the region to US companies, Microsoft may be cognisant of the likelihood the agreement will be subject to a legal challenge.

Max Schrems, the campaigner whose work led to the Schrems II ruling, has already indicated the decision does not meet the criteria set out by the Court of Justice of the European Union in that case.

US cloud titans AWS, Microsoft, and Google made up in 72 percent of Europe’s enterprise spending on cloud in Q2, according to figures from Synergy Research Group.

AWS says it offers customers the ability to store their data in any one or more of its European regions, including EU regions in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Sweden. In October, Google Cloud promoted partnerships with EU providers including T-Systems in Germany, S3NS in France, Minsait in Spain, and Telecom Italia in Italy in an effort to assure customers’ regulatory compliance in terms of data movement. ®

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