Microsoft sets up data centers in Germany amid US surveillance concerns

German data trustee, T-Systems, will control and oversee all access to customer data

Microsoft is delivering its cloud services, including Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online from two new datacenter regions in Germany, in a move that aims to deflect customer concerns about access to their data by U.S. surveillance.

The data centers, located in Magdeburg and Frankfurt am Main, will be unusual in that control over the data will not be with Microsoft but with Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems, which will be acting as a data trustee for Microsoft's customers' data.

Access to customer data stored in these new datacenters will be under the control of T-Systems and Microsoft will not be able to access the data without the permission of customers or the data trustee, Microsoft said in a statement Wednesday. If permission is granted by the data trustee, Microsoft will access the data only under its supervision.

The roll out of the data centers is scheduled for next year with availability of services planned for the second half of 2016. Services will be available to customers in Germany, the European Union and the European Free Trade Association.

The move by Microsoft is apparently aimed at assuaging German concerns about storing its data with a U.S. cloud company, particularly after revelations by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, about large-scale NSA surveillance in the country and abroad.

Microsoft and other tech companies faced a setback last month when the Court of Justice of the European Union declared invalid a "safe harbor" agreement governing personal data transfers between the EU and the U.S., as the data was not protected from spying by U.S. agencies.

The Redmond, Washington-based software company is also resisting in an appeals court in New York demands from the U.S. government for access to emails of a person that are stored in a server in Ireland.

Deutsche Telekom is supervising access to the infrastructure that houses customer data at the high-security data centers, while also providing connections over its network between the data centers.

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced plans to offer its Office 365 and Azure services from data centers in the U.K. by late next year.  Rival Amazon Web Services has also announced plans for a U.K. data center cluster by early 2017.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?