Microsoft gains EU security approval



Last week Microsoft announced that European Union’s data protection authorities have found that Microsoft’s enterprise cloud contracts meet EU privacy law standards. This is good news for companies using Microsoft’s enterprise cloud services – in particular, Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Windows Intune.

In a recent blog post, Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft, noted that “Microsoft is the first – and so far the only – company to receive this approval.”

This is good news for those using Microsoft’s enterprise cloud services because it now means security and privacy concerns have been addressed on a global level.

According to Smith, “By acknowledging that Microsoft’s contractual commitments meet the requirements of the EU’s “model clauses,” Europe’s privacy regulators have said, in effect, that personal data stored in Microsoft’s enterprise cloud is subject to Europe’s rigorous privacy standards no matter where that data is located. This is especially significant given that Europe’s Data Protection Directive sets such a high bar for privacy protection.”

Smith highlights three key benefits to customers. First, “should the EU suspend the Safe Harbor Agreement with the U.S., as called for recently by the European Parliament, our enterprise customers won’t need to worry that their use of our cloud services on a worldwide basis will be interrupted or curtailed.

 “Second, even if the Safe Harbor Agreement remains in place, it covers only transfers from Europe to the U.S. Our approved contractual commitments, by contrast, enable transfers globally.

 “Third, we have had and will continue to do the hard work to ensure that we can comply both technically and operationally with the stringent obligations imposed by these contractual commitments. All of our customers, whether they have operations in Europe or elsewhere, benefit from the strong engineering protections we have put in place as a result.”

Enterprise customers should be able to see these benefits implemented by July 1 of this year. As Smith explains in his post the EU approval requires that customers execute a short, standardized addendum to their current agreements in order to take advantage of this new recognition, and Microsoft is working to facilitate this.

Smith goes on to state “While we join others in our industry in calling for governments to respect the free flow of information, we also believe in putting our customers’ needs first. That’s why we previously announced our commitment around implementing encryption and enabling enterprise customers to store their content in existing data centers in their region.”

He wraps up his post with these thoughts, “Ultimately, customers will entrust their information to the cloud only if they have confidence that it will remain secure there. This week’s approval by the European data protection authorities is another important step in ensuring customers trust Microsoft’s cloud services.”

You can read Brad Smith’s complete post here.



Guy Wright

Guy Wright has been covering the technology space since the days when computers had cranks and networks were steam powered. He has been a writer and editor for more years then he cares to admit.


More

Microsoft Moves To Replace TV With Hololens: From The Super Bowl To Quidditch

If you didn’t turn in early to the Super Bowl you likely missed one of the most fascinating ads . This ad was a showcase of how Microsoft’s Hololens , which is in developer preview, could be used to transform TV watching. Unlike Google Glass which shines an image into your eye and provides a semi-transparent overlay Hololens is designed to fully alter what you see and hear so that you could put yourself in the position of quarterback, receiver, line, center, referee, or in the best seats in the stadium which could dynamically change based on the action. In fact the only thing you’ll miss is...

Able2Extract, a PDF wizard everyone needs

I am sure most of us have encountered the situation where you receive a PDF, but there is a typo, a wrong reference, something is missing or the data is wrong. And if you have ever tried to edit a PDF, you know what a pain it can be.

AMD And The Forgotten Benefits Of The Desktop PC

One of the interesting things I’ve been observing with regard to the near forced march to mobile devices is the increased need for a desktop computer where you can just sit and get work done. With all of the background sync capability in the various platforms provided by Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and others the old annoying problems of keeping you files in sync across multiple devices is pretty much over. You can pretty easily start creation on one device today and finish it on another. Gaming, although clearly increasingly focused on mobile devices, still favors desktop computers for the most...