2 min

The company is aiming to keep in line with latest EU regulations on data handling and storage.

This week Microsoft announced that it is making changes to how diagnostic data from Windows devices is processed and controlled.

Currently, to enroll devices in the Windows diagnostic data processor configuration option, IT admins can use policies at the individual device level. One example of this, the company wrote, is the “Allow commercial data pipeline” policy.

Microsoft is ending the use of policies to configure the processor option and instead is offering a configuration for an entire organization based on Azure Active Directory to set Microsoft’s role in processing data. This change is part of a larger effort announced in May 2021 to enable European entities to process and store their data in Europe, according to a report in The Register.

“We’ll stop using policies, such as the ‘Allow commercial data pipeline’ policy, to configure the processor option,” Microsoft says. “Instead, we’ll be introducing an organization-wide configuration based on Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to determine Microsoft’s role in data processing”.

It’s all about GDPR compliance

In 2018, the EU implemented a comprehensive privacy law that has had sweeping consequences for businesses operating within the bloc. The so-called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set strict rules for protecting data from Europe or EU citizens. The law is perhaps best known for the heavy fines that the EU has levied on companies that violated those rules.

What this new change means

The new change means that if a Windows device has the diagnostic data tool turned on and is connected to an Azure AD tenant, and that tenant has a billing address in the EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA), then its diagnostic data will automatically be configured for the processor option. The data will then be processed in Europe, according to Microsoft.

“We’re making this change to help ensure the diagnostic data for all devices in an organization is processed in a consistent way, and in the same geographic region”, the company said.