Our readers will know that Microsoft has repeatedly run into issues with European data protection regulations- GDPR; which specifies that user data should be treated with extreme care, and should not be exposed to situations where they can easily fall in the wrong hands- such as being exported to America.
As a result of this, Microsoft’s cloud products were, for example, banned from being used in some German schools due to a key-logging data being exported -without permission- to American data centres. To address these issues, Microsoft has finally decided to locate data centres in Germany, with the company launching 2 new data centres in Frankfurt and Berlin. Microsoft has also opened similar data centres in Zurich and Geneva.
The data centres will be offered to customers with special requirements for security, compliance and data storage. This will likely include customers such as Deutsche Bank, Rohde and Schwarz.
In 2018, Microsoft had shuttered its data centres in Germany, making the restoration of these data centres a capitulation of sorts.
The “German Cloud” is being developed with the support of DeutschTelecom as a data trustee and should reassure customers that their private customer data is being looked after appropriately, and is in compliance with the strict privacy regulations now prevalent in Europe.
While it is good to see Microsoft finally complying with local regulations, it is somewhat concerning that only selected customers will benefit from this resource. It makes you wonder what provisions Microsoft is making for the other hundreds of millions of Windows and Office users in Europe.