Microsoft is trying to reassure its European customers by committing to store all their data on European soil.
Microsoft announced on Thursday a new commitment to data protection in Europe. The provider's European private and public sector customers will be able to store and process all of their data within the EU.
Microsoft's new plan, titled "EU Data Boundary forthe Microsoft Cloud", assures European customers that their data will not be moved outside the EU to use the company's cloud services. The plan, which applies to Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 services, will be finalized by the end of 2022 at the latest.
“If you are a commercial or public sector customer in the EU, we will go beyond our current data storage commitments and allow you to process and store all of your data in the EU,” says Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, in a blog post . “We are immediately starting to work on this additional step, and by the end of next year we will complete the implementation of all engineering work necessary for its execution.”
The company has indicated that it will hold a “European cloud customer summit” in the fall to monitor the progress of these projects.
New guarantees with legal loopholes
Microsoft wants to provide new guarantees to its European customers who, worried about the fate of their data, are wondering about the follow-up to be given to the invalidation of the Privacy Shield last July.
Brad Smith assures that Microsoft teams will continue to "consult with customers and regulators about this plan in the coming months, including any adjustments needed in unique circumstances like cyber security."
He specifies that "Microsoft's cloud services are already compliant with, or even exceed, EU directives." Microsoft is offering its commercial and public sector customers the option of storing their data in the EU, and for Azure, new cloud services may "already be configured to process data in the EU as well. “
Brad Smith also assures us that "many of our services allow customers to control the encryption of their data through the use of customer-managed keys, and we protect our customers' data from unauthorized access by any government. in the world ".
Will Microsoft's commitment be enough to allay the fears of Europeans? European companies using American or non-European cloud providers face not only legal but also industrial and industrial property risks. Last summer, the European Court of Justice invalidated the Privacy Shield governing the transfer of data from both sides of the Atlantic, once again relaunching the debate on extraterritoriality.
These data transfers are authorized by the GDPR, by means of a subcontract (containing the standard contractual clauses) and / or a contract concluded between joint controllers. But national legislation (such as the Cloud Act) prevails over contractual frameworks.
In addition, the location of the personal data of Europeans in European datacenters of American service providers "still does not guarantee their security since they can still be subject to American law", the consulting firm KPMG wrote on Tuesday, in a report white paper on the European cloud market produced with French IT players, including OVHcloud.
US suppliers dominate the market
KPMG estimates that the European cloud services market, at 53 billion euros, is expected to grow 5-10 times by 2027-2030. The firm suggests, in the years to come, a rise in the stakes around data sovereignty. It will constitute "a commercial issue because of the growing expectations of European consumers in this area", evokes the white paper.
In Europe, American cloud providers are on the rise, moreover in the health context, with the acceleration of digital transformations in companies, thanks to the movement of applications to the cloud, as well as the consolidation of data centers. . In the first quarter of 2021, cloud computing spending reached $ 41.8 billion overall, up 35% year-on-year according to Canalys.
The top three remain unchanged: while AWS still leads the way, with a 32% share of spend, Microsoft Azure comes in second with 19%, followed by Google Cloud (7%). Azure revenue grew 50% for the third quarter of its lagged fiscal year.