Having become the first company to formally meet the European Union’s data protection rules, Microsoft is trying to turn its trustworthiness into business in privacy-wary Europe.
“For customers who care about privacy and compliance, there is no more committed partner than Microsoft,” wrote Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith in a Thursday blog post.
More so than in the U.S., data protection is a hot-button topic in Europe, especially in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks. Europe’s highest court earlier this week discarded a 2006 ruling that required telecommunications companies to store phone calls or online communications.
Also, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has championed the idea of having Europe-based data networks — which would, at least in theory, protect Europeans from NSA shenanigans.
German telecommunications companies also have seen marketing opportunities in privacy fears, announcing plans for snoop-proof communications.