Microsoft has announced a new EU Data Boundary plan for its cloud services. Starting in January 2023, the new data localization offering will allow public sector and commercial customers to store and process customer data within the European Union (EU).
Microsoft first announced its plans to launch the EU Data Boundary initiative back in May 2021. This move will help local organizations to comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements. GDPR protects user privacy restrictions in organizations that control how data is moved across international boundaries.
“Beginning on January 1, 2023, Microsoft will offer customers the ability to store and process their customer data within the EU Data Boundary for Microsoft 365, Azure, Power Platform and Dynamics 365 services. With this release, Microsoft expands on existing local storage and processing commitments, greatly reducing data flows out of Europe and building on our industry-leading data residency solutions,” Microsoft explained.
Microsoft plans to expand the EU Data Boundary plan to include the localization of additional data categories in future releases. The next phases will include service data, logging data, and other data types. Microsoft expects to complete the second and third rollout phases at the end of 2023 and in 2024, respectively.
Overall, the EU Data Boundary solution will bring peace of mind to EU customers who need data residency and localization commitments. However, the company didn’t provide any details about how the EU Data Boundary solution will exactly work. It also remains to be seen whether it will address all EU data flow concerns regarding Microsoft’s products and services.
Microsoft plans to publish new data flow documentation in the EU Data Boundary Trust Center. It should make it easier for customers to understand the storage and processing of their personal data.