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France embraces Google and Microsoft in an effort to protect sensitive data

Some of France’s most sensitive government and corporate data can be securely stored using cloud computing technology developed by Google (GOOGL.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) on Alphabet if licensed by French companies, the government said. on Monday.

The comment, part of a strategic plan put forward by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Meire and two other ministers, acknowledges US technological superiority in this area and contrasts with previous calls by European politicians for home-grown alternatives.

Google and Microsoft, along with market leader Amazon, dominate global data storage, fueling concerns in Europe about the risk of surveillance from the United States since the 2018 US CLOUD Act.

Still, a “reliable” alternative to cloud computing could be developed in Europe, Le Mer said, guaranteeing the location of the servers on French soil, as well as the European ownership of the companies that store and process the data.

“So we decided that the best companies – I think in particular Microsoft or Google – could license all or part of their technology to French companies,” Le Mer told a news conference. He did not mention Amazon.

Google said it welcomed the “clarification” provided by the French government, adding that it supported “the need for the highest levels of security”.

Microsoft said this was good news for France’s digital transformation “with full independence”.

He compares similar licenses to those observed in the 1960s in the field of civil nuclear energy between France and the United States.

The so-called “reliable cloud” will be delivered to companies that offer cloud computing services that comply with the principles mentioned by Le Maire and other conditions set by the French cybersecurity agency ANSSI.

OVHcloud and Dassault Systemes’ Outscale are two French companies that already meet these criteria. OVHcloud said late last year that it had partnered with Google to build its cloud computing capacity.

“We … hope that other Franco-American alliances will emerge in this area, which will allow us to have the best technology, while guaranteeing the independence of French data,” said Digital Affairs Minister Cedric O.

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