Microsoft lets cloud users keep personal data within Europe to ease privacy fears

Microsoft logo
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

In a significant move towards strengthening its European offering, Microsoft has announced a major update to the EU Data Boundary for the Microsoft Cloud that will let customers keep their data within Europe, rather than having it sent to the US.

The Redmond-based company said that the “decisive” action is one that “respect[s] European values” and aligns more closely with certain requirements for both commercial and public sector cloud customers.

The news comes as the company continues to invest in its Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty, expanding its more than 60 cloud regions, 11 of which are within Europe.

Microsoft tries to make peace with Europe

Microsoft first started phasing a rollout of the EU Data Boundary in 2023, allowing customers to store and process data within the boundary for Microsoft 365, Azure, Power Platform, and Dynamics 365 services.

The expansion now covers more categories, such as personal data and automated system logs.

Despite being the hot topic on many European organizations’ lips, Microsoft claims to be the “first large-scale cloud provider to deliver this level of data residency to European customers” – presumably, firing shots at AWS and Google Cloud.

As well as expanding local storage and processing capabilities, Microsoft’s announcement also covers the introduction of new transparent resources and enhanced EU-based protection measures.

As the tech giant continues on its journey to appeasing European customers (and antitrust regulators), later this year, it will roll out similar measures to cover technical support channel data.

Overall, Microsoft’s updates represent changes that exceed basic regulatory compliance, however we have to ask whether Redmond is only going above and beyond because it has had a turbulent few months within the EU.

More from TechRadar Pro

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!