The thought of your own government spying on you is enraging enough, but for a foreign government to be doing it, that just takes things to a whole other level. That’s why the European Union has been up in arms following the Snowden leaks, and European consumers simply aren’t comfortable with American technology companies storing their data in American data centers anymore. That’s why Microsoft has decided to open new data centers in Germany, that way European users can be certain that their information isn’t being recorded by the United States government.
Microsoft is opening new data centers in Germany to allow European customers to hide their digital information from US government surveillance. The new data centers will open in late 2016 and will be operated by a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. However, The Financial Times notes that customers will have to pay extra to store their data in this way. “These new data centre regions will enable customers to use the full power of Microsoft’s cloud in Germany […] and ensure that a German company retains control of the data,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at a press conference in Berlin this morning. The announcement is the latest move in an ongoing battle between US tech companies and the American government over access to foreign-held data. Companies like Microsoft and Google want to retain the trust of their users after the Snowden revelations, but have to contend with American police and spy agencies who want the same privileged access they’ve always enjoyed. An ongoing legal battle between Microsoft and a New York court exemplifies the debate, with the US authorities demanding access to the emails of an American citizen stored in Ireland and Microsoft refusing to hand over the data.