Microsoft on Thursday announced an expansion to its European Union data storage efforts that would allow cloud customers to keep all personal data stored within the EU boundary.
The move gives the tech giant the ability to market to customers a workaround for concerns regarding running afoul of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The law grants EU residents enhanced rights over the way their personal data is stored that the United States has yet to equal.
Many U.S. tech companies were exposed when a ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2020 scrapped the Privacy Shield, a mechanism allowing businesses to send EU data across the Atlantic to the United States without fear of reprisal under EU privacy law. The United States and Europe last year adopted a new framework for transatlantic data flows, although it is expected to also face legal challenge.
The announcement by Microsoft makes the company the “first large-scale cloud provider to deliver this level of data residency to European customers,” it said. The change, it said, “goes beyond European compliance requirements and reflects our commitment to provide trusted cloud services that are designed to take advantage of the full power of the public cloud while respecting European values.”
Microsoft said the feature will be available across Azure, Microsoft 365, Power Platform, and Dynamics 365.