Agence France-Presse. Paris |
Published: 23:16, May 6, 2021
| Updated: 11:17 PM, May 6,2021
A file photo shows the French headquarters of the US multinational technology company Microsoft in Issy-Les-Moulineaux on the outskirts of Paris. US tech giant Microsoft on Thursday pledged to store all European cloud-based customer data in Europe amid unease across the continent about the reach of US personal data collection legislation. – AFP photo
US technology giant Microsoft on Thursday agreed to process and store all European cloud-based customer data in the European Union.
Microsoft’s European customers have long been concerned about the legal status of data , which US companies store them in the cloud, and the extent to which they could be scrutinized by US authorities.
These concerns came to a head last July when the European Court of Justice laid down the EU-US data protection shield Framework that enables companies to transfer personal data to the USA in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation of Brussels.
The court found that the mechanism has the EU data before US authorities, over which Europe has neither control nor legal remedy , does not adequately protect.
In a blog post on Thursday, Microsoft President Brad Smith said, “If you are a commercial or public sector customer in the EU we will go beyond our existing data retention obligations and allow you to process and store all of your data in the EU.
Smith said the commitment would apply to all of Microsoft’s core cloud services – Azure , Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 – and will come into effect by the end of next year.
Smith stated that Microsoft Cloud Services « is already meeting or exceeding EU directives ahead of the plan announced today. »
« We protect our customers’ data from unauthorized access by any government in the world, « he added.
» We hope that today’s update is another step in responding to customers who want even more data residency commitments » , wrote Smith, pledging to continue to consult with customers and regulators on the matter and respond to their feedback.
However, it remains to be seen whether Smith’s announcement will meet continued European concern The location of the personal data of Europeans in the European data centers of the US providers does not always guarantee their security, as they may continue to be subject to US law, « said the auditors KPMG in white paper on the European cloud market with French IT companies, including Microsoft’s rival OVHCloud.
Smith emphasized that Microsoft was committed to the EU’s vision for a “Europe fit for the digital age” and promised compensation to customers if their data were disclosed in violation of European data protection regulations.
With cloud services, companies can store immense amounts of data on remote servers as required. However, the sector is largely dominated by US providers, in particular Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google.
According to KPMG, the European market alone, which is currently estimated at 53 billion euros, could increase five to ten times by 2030 According to a study by Fortune Business Insights, the US market is expected to grow from currently USD 76.4 billion to USD 390.3 billion by 2028.
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