Microsoft is making new efforts to make sure data on its servers are not access by people, governments or other organizations without permission. This week, the company announced that it will open two cloud service centers in Germany that will be controlled by a third-party "data trustee".
Services such as Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online will be available from these data centers, which are scheduled to be available to European customers sometime in the second half of 2016. While that's fairly dry news, what's more interesting is how those centers will be managed:
"These new cloud services will be a first of their kind innovation from a global hyper-scale cloud provider, in that access to customer data stored in these new datacenters will be under the control of T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, an independent German company acting as a data trustee. Microsoft will not be able to access this data without the permission of customers or the data trustee, and if permission is granted by the data trustee, will only do so under its supervision. "Microsoft is pioneering a new, unique, solution for customers in Germany and Europe. Now, customers who want local control of their data combined with Microsoft's cloud services have a new option, and I anticipate it will be rapidly adopted", says Timotheus Höttges, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Telekom AG."
This new setup would seem on the surface to keep Microsoft out of the loop if the US government requests that the company send over data from their servers that are located out of the country.