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Microsoft to launch EU "data boundary" on Jan. 1

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) announced on Thursday that its European Union cloud customers will be able to process and store portions of their data in the area beginning January 1.

The "EU data boundary" will be phased-in across all of Microsoft's core cloud services, including Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and the Power BI platform.

Since the EU implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, which protects user privacy, large organisations have become increasingly concerned about the worldwide movement of client data.

The European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, is working on recommendations to protect the privacy of European customers whose data is transmitted to the United States.

“As we dived deeper into this project, we learned that we needed to be taken more phased approach,” Julie Brill, Microsoft’s Chief Privacy Officer.

“The first phase will be customer data. And then as we move into the next phases, we will be moving logging data, service data and other kind of data into the boundary,” she said. The second phase will be completed at the end of 2023 and phase three will be completed in 2024, she said.

Microsoft maintains over a dozen datacenters in Europe, including France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.

For large corporations, data storage has gotten so enormous and dispersed across so many countries that it is impossible to comprehend where their data lives and whether it conforms with regulations such as GDPR.

“We are creating this solution to make our customers feel more confident and to be able to have clear conversations with their regulators on where their data is being processed as well as stored,” Brill said.

Microsoft has already stated that it will oppose government requests for user data and will financially compensate any consumer whose data was supplied in violation of GDPR.



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