Microsoft has announced plans to ensure data processing of EU cloud services within the borders of the political bloc in a move that expert observers claim reveals problems with the firm’s existing setup.
Those problems extend to UK public sector organisations seeking to stick within government guidance as well as a longstanding issue where personal data held in the EU can potentially be accessed via US security laws.
In a blog, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, said the software and cloud services giant would, by the end 2022, enable EU customers of Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 to have all their data processed physically within the EU.
Although critics have questioned what the announcement means about Redmond’s current processing setup, Smith said Microsoft cloud services already comply with or exceed EU guidelines. “We provide commercial and public sector customers with the choice to have data stored in the EU, and many Azure cloud services can already be configured to process data in the EU as well. In addition, we use world-class encryption and robust lockbox solutions that meet current regulatory guidance.