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Microsoft enables personal cloud data for Europeans to be stored within EU

Microsoft said Thursday it is expanding and enhancing its cloud data services in order to store all personal data for European customers within the E.U. Data Boundary. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Microsoft said Thursday it is expanding and enhancing its cloud data services in order to store all personal data for European customers within the E.U. Data Boundary. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Microsoft said Thursday that cloud users in the European Union will now be able to store and process all of their personal data within the bloc.

The move expands on previous updates to comply with EU regulation introduced last year, allowing storage of automated system logs, as Microsoft said it is "the first large-scale cloud provider to deliver this level of data residency" to European consumers.

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"With today's update, Microsoft takes another decisive step in expanding its suite of trusted cloud services that respect European values and meet the specific requirements of our commercial and public sector customers in Europe," Microsoft said in a statement.

The tech giant said it's part of a larger initiative that builds on the rollout of the EU Data Boundary last year that provided the ability to store and process customer data in Microsoft 365, Azure, Power Platform and Dynamics 365 services.

Microsoft said it's a significant step forward "in delivering Microsoft's EU Data Boundary for the Microsoft Cloud."

"With this expansion, the EU Data Boundary allows our customers to store and process even more of their data within the European Union and enriches customer control," Microsoft's statement said.

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Later in 2024, Microsoft plans to launch the next phase of the EU Data Boundary for Microsoft Cloud through transformation of the processes and storage of data required during technical support interactions.

"We will ensure that support data is stored within the boundary, and when access from outside the EU is required to enable world-class support, we will limit and secure any temporary data transfer required through technical approaches such as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure," Microsoft said.

Microsoft added that data transfers outside of the EU will be documented and limited to cybersecurity requirements for security purposes.

The company said it is going beyond European compliance requirements for data and is committed to providing trusted cloud data services "while respecting European values and providing the most advanced sovereignty controls and features available in the industry today."

European data laws require certain data protections based on principles of storing data locally while minimizing data transfers outside the region.

In September Chinese-owned TikTok announced a new $400 million data center in Ireland was up and running and was in the process of migrating European customer data to that center and two others in Europe.

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