Microsoft will put in place a “data boundary” for customers in the EU on January 1.
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O) said Thursday that its cloud customers in the European Union will be able to process and store some of their data in the area starting on January 1.
The “EU data boundary” will be gradually added to all of its main cloud services, including Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and the Power BI platform.
Since the EU passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 to protect user privacy, big businesses have become more worried about how customer data moves around the world.
The European Commission, which is in charge of running the bloc, is working on plans to protect the privacy of European users whose data is sent to the United States.
Julie Brill, Microsoft’s Chief Privacy Officer, told Reuters, “As we got further into this project, we learned that we needed to do it in stages.”
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“The customer data will be the first step.” “Then, as we move into the next phases, we’ll move logging data, service data, and other kinds of data into the boundary,” she told me. She said that the second phase will be done by the end of 2023 and that the third phase will be done in 2024.
Microsoft runs more than a dozen datacenters in European countries like France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.
Data storage for big companies has gotten so big and spread out over so many countries that it’s hard for them to know where their data is and if it follows rules like GDPR.
“We’re making this solution so that our customers will feel more secure and be able to talk to their regulators about where their data is being processed and stored,” Brill said.
Microsoft has said in the past that it would fight government requests for customer information and that it would pay any customer whose information it shared in violation of GDPR.