Microsoft Creates German Data Centers amidst Concerns of U.S. Surveillance

Microsoft will now deliver its cloud services, which includes Dynamics CRM Online, Office 365 and Azure from two new German data centers in a move that is aimed at deflecting the concerns of customers about access to data that is private through surveillance by the U.S.

These data centers are located in Frankfurt am Main and Magdeburg. They will be unusual in that the control over data will not be Microsoft’s but Deutsche Telekom and T-Systems subsidiary, which will act as the trustee of the data for the Microsoft customers.

Access to that customer data in the new datacenters will be under control of T-Systems. Microsoft will not have access to any data without first receiving the permission of the customers or of the data trustee.

Microsoft announced that if permission is given to the data trustee, Microsoft would access data only under its supervision.

The data centers roll out is scheduled for 2016 with services availability planned for the second six months of 2016. Services are available to clients in Germany, the European Union as well as the European Free Trade Association.

The move Microsoft is making is apparently aimed at soothing the concerns of Germans about storing personal data in cloud services in the U.S., in particular following revelations made by Edward Snowden the former contractor with the National Security Agency, about NSA surveillance in the country and abroad.

Microsoft along with other technology companies faced setbacks in October when the European Union Court of Justice declared an agreement of safe harbor invalid that governed personal data transfers amongst the U.S. and EU, as data was not protected from U.S. spying agencies.

The company, based in Redmond, Washington is also resisting a New York appeals court to demands from the U.S. Government to access emails for a person in the government of the U.S. for access to emails and the person’s information stored inside.

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