US tech giant Microsoft has put new data centers in Germany under the control of Deutsche Telekom, the companies said Wednesday, in a move that will keep privacy-sensitive Germans' customer data in the country.
After scandals over US surveillance programs that spooked Europeans, Deutsche Telekom will serve as "custodian" for Microsoft's cloud-based services in Germany.
"All customer data will remain exclusively in Germany," Deutsche Telekom said in a statement, adding that the service will also be available to European clients outside Germany.
"With this partnership with T-Systems, Microsoft customers can choose a data protection level that complies with the requirements of German customers and many clients of the public sector," added Anette Bronder, director of Digital Division at the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems.
Microsoft runs its German cloud-based services through two data centers, where Deutsche Telekom will assume responsibility for "protection of customer data and access to it".
"Microsoft will have no access to the data if T-Systems or the customer do not allow it," the statement said, a point confirmed in a separate communique from the US group.
Trust in US tech companies has been shaken since former US National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden in 2013 revealed a worldwide surveillance program using user data harvested from Silicon Valley giants.
What does this say about privacy, MSFT and bigdata?