As a US company, there have been concerns that the US Government or law enforcement can request access to Microsoft European customer data even if the data is stored outside the US.
Microsoft has fought an ongoing legal battle with the US Government and won its case in 2016 after the US Government requested access to data held by a Microsoft customer in Ireland.
Since Brexit there have been concerns by many organisations over the storage of data within the EU and how that might be affected.
Microsoft recently announced that up until September 15th 2017 existing Office 365 customers who would prefer to have their data located in the new UK datacentres can choose to move from the EU locations. This could well be a good move as it reassures UK customers that data held with Office 365 and Azure will be protected by UK laws if any divergence between the EU and UK occurs over data protection.
This move could take up to 2 years to take place before the data is finally in London, Cardiff or Durham. The Ministry of Defence, some NHS Trusts and Aston Martin have started moving their services into these locations so for most companies there should not be any issues.
What are the implications:
For those tenants already created in 2016 you are likely to see your data location as Europe, new tenants within billed in the UK will most likely see the data location as the UK.
The move is a simple change that takes less than 15minutes to request and once complete your tenant will show the following.
Microsoft have said that the data moves will have a minimal impact to users and will be completed in the background. Once the move is complete the message centre will show an update and the Data Location will be updated.