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Amazon Launches Cloud Service in Europe to Comply with Stricter Privacy Regulations

Amazon is introducing a dedicated cloud service for Europe in order to meet the stringent regulations imposed on companies and the public sector within the European Union.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced on Wednesday that its AWS European Sovereign Cloud will be located and operated in Europe, offering the same security, availability, and performance as existing AWS regions but as a separate entity. This cloud service will enable customers to store all metadata they generate within the European Union and will have its own billing and usage metering systems.

Max Peterson, vice president of Sovereign Cloud at AWS, stated, “The AWS European Sovereign Cloud reinforces our commitment to offering AWS customers the most advanced set of sovereignty controls, privacy safeguards, and security features available in the cloud.”

Transatlantic data protection has become a growing concern since the European Union’s highest court invalidated the Privacy Shield data sharing agreement in 2020. The court ruled that the agreement, which facilitated the transfer of data from the EU to the US under strict privacy rules, did not sufficiently prevent US government surveillance of user data. In response, Microsoft announced in 2021 that it would enable business and public sector customers in the EU to keep their cloud computing data within the bloc to address concerns about US government access to sensitive information.

Amazon’s AWS supports 143 security standards and compliance certifications to assist customers in meeting regulatory requirements. The company is collaborating with European regulators and national cybersecurity agencies to develop the AWS European Sovereign Cloud, ensuring that it can fulfill additional data residency, operational autonomy, and resiliency needs in Europe.

Germany will be the first AWS Region within the AWS European Sovereign Cloud and will be accessible to all European customers. Only AWS employees who are EU residents and located within the EU will have control over the operations and support for the AWS European Sovereign Cloud.

Claudia Plattner, president of the German Federal Office for Information Security, said, “The development of a European AWS cloud will make it much easier for many public sector organizations and companies with high data security and data protection requirements to use AWS services.”

AWS currently has eight regions in Europe, including Frankfurt, Ireland, London, Milan, Paris, Stockholm, Spain, and Zurich. The company plans to launch five additional AWS regions in Canada, Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Thailand.

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