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Microsoft to host Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM in Germany

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November 12, 2015

Call it safe harbor if you want, but it looks like Microsoft will comply with Germany's tough privacy laws after all.

The software behemoth has announced that it will agree with Germany's data privacy concerns and start hosting its Azure Cloud, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online in Germany.

The decision comes hard on the heels of the company's move to spin up some rust in Britain, with the Ministry of Defense as a large anchor customer.

In its announcement, Microsoft also says that customers in Germany will have data access controlled by Deutsche Telekom, acting as the local data trustee.

The German operator's 'T-Systems' subsidiary will handle the data trustee functions, managing all access to customer data in Microsoft's data centres.

“Microsoft will not be able to access that data without the permission of customers or the data trustee, and if permission is granted by the data trustee, it will only do so under its supervision”, the announcement stated.

Since Microsoft won't be in charge of the data itself, even an unfavorable decision in its U.S. court case in which the Feds want access to e-mails stored in Ireland won't expose German customer data to American courts.

To ensure business continuity, Microsoft says it will spin up machines in two regions: Magdeburg and Frankfurt. Data will be exchanged between the two locations over a private network, rather than the public Internet so as not to risk data being routed outside Germany for any reason.

The service will follow German data handling regulations, Microsoft says, and customers will be able to view “how and where data is processed”.

Source: Microsoft.

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