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April 11, 2014

EU privacy regulators approve Microsoft cloud system

Pressure may mount against cloud providers such as Amazon, Verizon and Salesforce.

By CBR Staff Writer

The European Union’s data protection regulators have accepted that Microsoft’s privacy changes to its enterprise cloud storage system complied with stringent EU data protection standards.

Microsoft’s latest achievement would reportedly put pressure on global corporate cloud providers including Amazon, Verizon and Salesforce to make similar vows as the EU encourages companies to protect digitally stored data in the wake of Snowden disclosures about alleged US spying on Europeans.

Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs general counsel and executive vice president Brad Smith said that the European Union’s data protection authorities have found that Microsoft’s enterprise cloud contracts meet the high standards of EU privacy law.

"This ensures that our customers can use Microsoft services to move data freely through our cloud from Europe to the rest of the world," Smith added.

"Building on this approval, we will now take proactive steps to expand these legal protections to benefit all of our enterprise customers."

A study by Telecoms firm NTT Com revealed that about nine out of 10 IT decision makers are changing their cloud purchasing behaviour in the wake of Snowden’s revelations about the extent of government snooping.

European organisations have threatened not to use US data centres to store their data as it is a natural target for the US intelligence agency NSA.

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German chancellor Angela Merkel also put proposal for a European-only communications network after NSA allegedly hacked her phone, upsetting relations between Germany and the US.

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