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January 21, 2015updated 19 Aug 2016 12:22pm

Microsoft proposes easier data sharing between EU and US

The agreement will allow law enforcement authorities to access user data more easily.

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft has proposed an agreement between the EU and the US to make data sharing easier for law enforcement agencies.

The Financial Times cited Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith as saying that the governments in both regions should be able to serve a warrant on a data centre to get information on a particular citizen.

The agreement is aimed at solving the fundamental problem of cloud computing which involves storage of customer data in a different country to where they belong, which also makes it difficult to identify under which government’s jurisdiction they fall.

Smith expects the accord will be welcomed by other US tech majors who face similar problems and have been struggling to maintain balance between maintaining customer privacy amidst demand from security services to access data.

If agreed upon, the proposal will be closely monitored by the legislatures in the US and EU, as the European Parliament has been critical about sharing data belonging to European citizens – even within EU.

Smith also said that the present rules on data protection are outdated.

"The laws on the books are reasonably antiquated."

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"We need principles that will outlive the technology of any particular year. If rules are crafted for technology, it risks becoming outdated, or freezing technology where it is today," Smith added.

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