Microsoft to Allow EU Customers to Store All Data in the EU

Posted on May 6, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Microsoft 365 with 5 Comments

Microsoft announced today that it will allow commercial and public sector customers in the EU to store all of their data in the EU by 2022.

“If you are a commercial or public sector customer in the EU, we will go beyond our existing data storage commitments and enable you to process and store all your data in the EU,” Microsoft president Brad Smith announced. “In other words, we will not need to move your data outside the EU. This commitment will apply across all of Microsoft’s core cloud services: Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365.”

Smith says that Microsoft has already begun working towards this goal—which it calls the EU Data Boundary for the Microsoft Cloud—and it plans to complete this work by the end of next year.

To be clear, Microsoft already complies with or exceeds EU guidelines for cloud services. Today, Microsoft’s commercial and public sector customers can already choose to keep their data stored in the EU, and it provides encryption and protects customers from improper governmental access. Under the new plan, Microsoft will dramatically exceed its legal requirements by storing and processing all of the personal data for its EU commercial and public sector customers inside the EU.

“This plan includes any personal data in diagnostic data and service-generated data, and personal data we use to provide technical support,” Smith says. “We will also extend technical controls such as Lockbox and customer-managed encryption for customer data across Microsoft core cloud services. We will build these EU Data Boundary Solutions into our core cloud services to enhance our current offerings for customers.”

Microsoft will host an EU Cloud Customer Summit this fall where it will share more information about this work. But you can learn more about the EU Data Boundary for the Microsoft Cloud on the Microsoft Tech Community website in the meantime.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Microsoft to Allow EU Customers to Store All Data in the EU”

  1. anoldamigauser

    So will this extend to customers in the UK, given Brexit?

    • mikegalos

      UK Azure data has been stored in the UK (Either London or Cardiff) so when the UK stopped being part of the EU the UK data stopped being in the EU. Whether this change will be applied to computed data isn't announced but seems likely.

      Now what will be done with Scottish or Northern Irish data if they leave the UK is a different issue especially since Northern Ireland would likely merge with the Republic of Ireland and thus be part of the EU and since an independent Scotland would likely apply for readmission to the EU so continuing to store their data in the UK would be a violation of EU regulations.

      • wright_is

        Other companies have used the UK leaving Europe as a data-grab, suddenly moving all the data to the States. But with the UK Azure data centers, the data should at least have the option of staying there. The question will be, whether it can be stored exclusively in the UK or whether it will continue to transfer some of the activity data back to the States.

        At the moment, with the GDPR in the UK not having been revoked, it is a grey area, but I'm sure BoJo the Clown will sort it out in the US' favour shortly.

      • peterc

        >> especially since Northern Ireland would likely merge with the Republic of Ireland.

        Theres more chance of the moon being made of Cheese than this happening :-) sorry.

    • wright_is

      Given that the UK has left the EU, I would guess that is a no...

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