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Microsoft tries to reassure EU on cloud

by on15 December 2011

We do not give data to US spooks

Microsoft has had a stab at trying to reassure European cloud users that it is not giving sensitive data to US spooks.

Customers have been abandoning Microsoft's cloud after it was revealed that under the US Patriot Act all data that is stored in the US has to be given to its security services. From there it can be handed to US companies who will try to make something useful out of it.

Microsoft has launched the Office 365 Trust Center which it says will offering its customers compliance with the European Commission’s Data Protection Directive. The directive forbids the handing over of data to other governments. Microsoft claims to be the first cloud provider to sign a set of EU “model clauses,” which are standard contractual clauses that govern the international transfer of personal data.

The software giant claims that appropriate steps have been taken to help safeguard personal data, even if data is stored in a cloud-based service centre located outside the EEA. The press materials make no mention of the USA Patriot Act and it was not enough for UK defence contractor BAE Systems to pull out of Microsoft's cloud. Meanwhile EU cloud suppliers such as SecureSafe are doing rather well.

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