Microsoft announced on Thursday that its enterprise cloud contracts meet European Union privacy law standards. According to a blog post by Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft, the company is the first and only provider to receive this recognition.
The approval applies to enterprise server products including Microsoft Azure, Office 355, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Windows Intune.
This is a significant development regarding data privacy going forward. Even if the EU suspends the safe harbor agreement with the US there would be no interruption of service for Microsoft’s cloud service users.
It could give Microsoft a short term edge in the very competitive cloud market. Any advantage is critical with so many companies looking to expand in the EU, for example Amazon and Cisco recently announced plans to open more data centers in Europe. Microsoft has been expanding with it’s Dublin mega data center due for completion this spring.
Security and privacy concerns in the EU have been a hot topic lately. On Tuesday the EU Data Retention Directive that was adopted in 2006 was overturned by the European Court of Justice saying it violates protection of personal data.