E.U. approves of Microsoft's enterprise cloud privacy protection

Microsoft’s privacy changes to its online enterprise cloud storage system won EU regulators’ approval for meeting the bloc’s stringent data protection standards, a move that could force rivals to follow suit. Global corporate cloud providers such as Amazon, Verizon and Salesforce will be under growing pressure to make similar commitments as the protection of digitally stored information has become a priority for companies in Europe following revelations that US spies covertly collected the data of millions of Europeans.

Microsoft is no stranger to the chilling effects of European regulation, facing fines for some of its own practices and seeing rivals like Google get off the hook more lightly. But today comes a piece of good news for Redmond: the data protection authorities (DPAs) of all 28 European member states have decided that Microsoft’s enterprise cloud services meet its standards for privacy. This makes Microsoft AzureOffice 365Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Windows Intune the first services to get such approval. The privacy decision was made by the “Article 29 Data Protection Working Party,” which notes that this will mean that Microsoft will not have to seek approval of individual DPAs on enterprise cloud contracts.

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