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Microsoft Office 365 data sovereignty: Where is my data?

office365image3The need for clarity and certainty about where your business data is

In just about six years, Microsoft Office 365 has become one of the runaway success stories of the move towards online computing and cloud based applications. Essentially, for businesses of every size, it is the simplest and most cost effective way of having access to the world’s leading business productivity suite.

As with any service which puts your business data into the cloud, there needs to be certainty over sovereignty. Data sovereignty determines the laws that govern protection and official access to business data. This depends on the geographical location of the data centres where the data is domiciled, that is stored, hosted or processed.

Consequently, there is a need to clarify where Microsoft stores the data of UK business customers so that there is certainty and clarity over the laws that apply to it.

The sovereignty of Office 365 data for UK customers

For UK companies, data sovereignty has been a grey area in recent times, due to the legal challenges which led to Safe Harbour being thrown out by the EU and the vacuum of doubt that existed until the acceptance of the new agreement, Privacy Shield.

Microsoft has a regionalised data centre strategy. This means the customer’s country or region, which is specified during the initial setup of the services, determines the primary storage location for that customer’s data. For UK Office 365 customers this means data is stored in data centres located in the following locations:

  • Durham, United Kingdom
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Netherlands
  • Ireland
  • United States

The laws that apply are those of the EU / UK (whichever is superior) and Privacy Shield.

Certainty about sovereignty with Paralogic

Formally adopted on 27 April 2016, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) enters force on 25 May 2018. This enables the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the European Union (EU).

Over the next few months, Paralogic is going to be helping you to understand what GDPR means for our customers and potential customers with a series of communications. So watch this space for the latest!

To find out more about how we can help you maximise the benefits of the cloud in a safe and secure way, simply get in touch today.

To see Microsoft’s interactive data centre mapping, follow this link.

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