Microsoft to store European data in EU instead of US by end of 2022

Microsoft has announced that it will allow European customers to keep their cloud data within the European Union following privacy concerns about the data being held in the United States.

Announcing the company’s “new pledge for the European Union” in a blog post on Thursday, Microsoft’s president Brad Smith revealed that it will allow commercial and public sector customers in the European bloc “to process and store all your data in the EU” by the end of 2022.

“In other words, we will not need to move your data outside the EU,” he wrote, adding that the new pledge will include data from Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365.

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He also described the move as “an acknowledgement of the role the technology sector needs to play in helping Europe realize its digital aspirations.”

The EU has expressed concern about European data being held in the United States for over 10 years and has a rocky relationship with Microsoft that has even resulted in several fines.

In July, the European Court of Justice shot down a system that would have allowed European companies to transfer their data to the United States.

Microsoft responded to the court’s decision by declaring that it would “work proactively with the European Commission and the US government to address the issues raised by the ruling,” and that the company remained committed to “privacy.”

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© Reuters / Hannah McKay
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