Microsoft Azure Data Privacy Measures Win EU Approval
Microsoft's cloud computing platform meets the European Union's stringent privacy laws.Microsoft announced on April 10 that its enterprise cloud services, particularly Azure, Office 365, Dynamics CRM and Windows Intune, meet the European Union (EU) privacy standards set forth by the Article 29 Working Party. The group comprises data protection authorities from the EU's 28 member states and the European Commission. The approval was issued via a letter from Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, chairwoman of the Article 29 Working Party, according to Microsoft's General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs Brad Smith. He noted in a blog post that the move earned Microsoft the distinction of being the "the first—and so far the only—company to receive this approval." In a FAQ issued by Microsoft, the company explained that the "Article 29 Working Party helps ensure consistency in the application of EU privacy law, approves codes of conduct for the processing of personal data, and provides advice on whether countries outside of the EU adequately protect data transferred from the EU." And its activities can have profound effects in the global cloud computing market. "Given that the EU has some of the most advanced data protection regulation in the world, these authorities play a critical role in global privacy law," stated Microsoft.
The software and cloud services provider noted in its FAQ that "the Article 29 Working Party approved Microsoft's enterprise cloud services contracts as being in compliance with the high-standards of EU privacy law, as set forth in the EU Model Clauses." Regardless of where EU customer data is stored on Microsoft's global cloud data center network, privacy is assured, said Smith.