Microsoft's enterprise cloud passes EU privacy standards


Microsoft's enterprise cloud contracts have been certified by 28 EU data protection authorities as meeting privacy regulations.

The approval means Microsoft's customers can move data through its cloud from Europe to the rest of the world when using Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Windows Intune.

Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft said: "Europe's privacy regulators have said, in effect, that personal data stored in Microsoft's enterprise cloud is subject to Europe's rigorous privacy standards no matter where that data is located."

According to Microsoft, the company is the first in the world to receive recognition from all EU authorities.

Smith said: "Other companies talk about their commitment to comply with EU privacy law but we've enshrined that commitment in our contracts."

He explained that the new approval means if the EU suspends the Safe Harbor Agreement with the US, customer's services will not be disrupted and also, Microsoft will continue to develop its services to ensure they abide by EU regulations.

The Safe Harbor Agreement ensures data transferred between the EU and non-EU countries is happens safely, abiding to EU directives.

Smith explained: "Microsoft has done the technical and legal work to ensure our customers with European operations can legally move their data through our services. For customers who care about privacy and compliance, there is no more committed partner than Microsoft."

To ensure companies can make use of Microsoft's recently approval, the EU requires that customers complete an addendum to their current agreements and Microsoft has promised to roll this out quickly and efficiently so all its customers can make the most of the new recognition.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.