Microsoft to allow customers choose to store their data outside the U.S.

Microsoft’s top lawyer has said the company will let non-U.S. customers choose to have their data stored outside the U.S. To an extent, this would be a boon for the privacy of the firm’s foreign customers, but privacy advocates should dampen their enthusiasm. On this one, the devil will be in the detail. When Microsoft follows through with its location-choice move, it will need to be very clear about what it can and cannot promise.

Today, Microsoft announced an unpredecented response to concerns of NSA data access, offering customers in foreign countries the option of having their data stored outside US borders. According to Financial Times report, the company decided to launch the program after discovering the NSA was using their networks to surveil citizens of Brazil and the European Union. So far, Microsoft is the only major company offering explicitly non-US data storage, despite evidence that the agency has broken into the private networks of both Google and Yahoo.

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