Because of the US government surveillance rules and constant watching of its citizens, we are in the midst of the unsafe feeling of being watched. Microsoft plans to open two new data centers in Germany in order for its European consumers to avoid the surveillance by the US Government. The plan is for them to open the new data centers in the late months of 2016, operated by T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. They also announced plans of opening more data centers in the UK. But before you jump for joy, there’s a catch: Extra charges. Of course, there will be fees in order for data to be stored in a way where it will be hidden from surveillance, according to the Financial Times. These services will only be available for users based in Germany and Europe.
“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. We enable our customers to use Microsoft technologies while ensuring that their data is controlled by a German company,” said Microsoft CEO Satva Nadella at a press conference in Berlin last November 11, 2015.
This is coming from an ongoing case, as there are a number of US tech companies also against the American government on accessing foreign data. While companies such as Microsoft and Google would want to keep their customers’ trust and keep their information private, they will still have to comply with the US government. One of the latest cases would be from Microsoft refusing to hand over data (emails) of an American citizen from Ireland, hence the move of building new data centers in Germany in order to further protect the user’s data and avoid cases like these. The reason behind choosing Germany as a location for their new data centers is due to the fact that Germany’s data-protection laws are one of the most strictest, meaning, if one will have to look for information of a certain user, then they will have to go through German authorities first.
A smart move to take away the government surveillance and data collection, but may just be temporary. It will still have to be tested in the waters, but the announcement is official. It raises a few concerns, specifically the confidentiality of the consumers’ data from government agencies, and while that is still being taken care of (legally), German and European consumers should expect these services to be able in late 2016.
Microsoft’s announcement on building new data centers won’t only affect the consumers of the company, but most likely other consumers of different companies as well, with the former wanting something similar to what Microsoft is doing. Not only that, but EU officials may also take part in the whole situation. With legal cases still being taken care of, it will take a bit of negotiation and time before we get more information on the case.