US Authorities Might Access EU Cloud Data without Prior Consent

Europeans who use US based cloud computing services can have their personal data accessed by US authorities without their knowledge.

According to an article on The Register, Europe based users who access cloud computing services from US based companies like Microsoft are most likely to have their personal information handed over to US authorities without them finding out.

Under US Patriot Act, US based companies are required to hand over customer data if asked for, no matter where the data is stored and without having to give any prior notification. EU law on the other hand, requires companies to inform customers before disclosing their information.

This means, that the US government might have to come to an understanding with the EU for accessing information belonging to Europeans.

The report comes as Microsoft is preparing to launch a new cloud based service in Europe next week.

“In a limited number of circumstances, Microsoft may need to disclose data without your prior consent, including as needed to satisfy legal requirements, or to protect the rights or property of Microsoft or others (including the enforcement of agreements or policies governing the use of the service),” Microsoft said in its privacy policy.