Microsoft commercial and public sector customers in the European Union (EU) will soon be able to process and store data within the EU. Microsoft already complies with EU guidelines and provides an option for organizations to store data in the EU. The commitment announced today will add the option to have all data processed within the EU as well. As a result, customers won’t have to worry about data leaving the EU at any point.

Due to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it’s increasingly difficult for organizations to keep track of their data and to make sure that they are in compliance. Being able to elect to have all data stored within the region should make that process easier.

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Microsoft President Brad Smith announced the change in a blog post. Smith explains that Microsoft will consult with customers and regulators over the coming months to adjust to specific circumstances such as cybersecurity.

Microsoft will complete the engineering work needed to provide the new option by the end of next year. Once completed, organizations will have the option to have data from all core cloud services from Microsoft stored and processed within the region, including Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365.

In addition to the upcoming ability to process and store data in the EU, Microsoft is creating a Privacy Engineering Center of Excellence in Dublin. This center will help customers determine the right solutions for data protection and meeting regulatory requirements.

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Microsoft has announced or currently operated data centers in 13 countries in Europe; Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

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