Brad Smith, global president of Microsoft, during the meeting held in Madrid.

Microsoft anticipates that the three data centers in Spain will be operational this year.
Brad Smith, its global president, announces the location of its CPD in Spain (Algete, Meco and San Sebastián de los Reyes), while admitting challenges to bring ethics to artificial intelligence or to find talent.

The Microsoft data region in Spain, announced two years ago and which along the way has found support in Telefónica's infrastructure among other partners, will see the light of day before the end of the year. This was confirmed by Brad Smith, global president of Microsoft, during a meeting in Spain, part of an authentic international 'tour' that has included stops in countries as diverse as Germany, the United Kingdom and Brussels.

"We are no longer talking about years, but about months. It will be soon and 2022 will be a great, very important year for us," the executive indicated. "It is almost here, because until now the data was in Dublin or Amsterdam. With these new data centers, we will be able to offer lower latency, and greater control of sensitive data by residing in Spain and being covered under Spanish law and, Also, we will be able to work more intensely on cybersecurity."

The three data centers in question will be located in Algete, Meco and San Sebastián de los Reyes. Neither Microsoft nor Brad Smith himself have confirmed the investment data or direct economic impact of these deployments, which are part of the multinational's expansion plans in Europe, "with 17 CPD deployed at the same time and an investment of 12,000 million dollars in the last two years.

The next era of privacy

Brad Smith has always been combative with the protection of personal data against intrusions... even when they come from the governments in power. In his only interview in Spain, granted to this medium in 2017, the executive already promised that "Microsoft would fight to the end to protect privacy" in the face of attacks, at that time, by President Trump.

Now, with the mood somewhat calmer at least from the White House, Smith continues to maintain his firm position on the matter. "Europe is the leader in privacy issues. Since the 90s, when it was forced to report that personal data was being collected and to ask for basic consents. And, since 2020, with the GDPR, which is a huge step forward although suffers from the same thing as the previous era: no one has time to look at and understand all the details of the legal texts.

"Therefore, there is still at least a new era to come in the next decade, in which clear guides or manuals are established on how data can and cannot be used. And I also believe that Europe will be the one to lead that leap," Smith advanced.

Meanwhile, Brad Smith recognized the difficulties for "all countries and economies when it comes to transferring and moving data. The different regulations and the fact that the Privacy Shield was invalidated a year ago greatly complicate these movements. Governments can and should play a role in "it's time to modernize the legal framework, giving more certainty to companies and more confidence to consumers."

The cyber war between Seattle and Russia

Smith, a lawyer and recent author of a book called Tools and Weapons in which he outlines the positive and negative uses of technology, has not evaded the issue that occupies the top news stories around the world: the war in Ukraine. Or, in his opinion, the cyberwar that passes through an advance line that is more liquid and diffuse than anyone could think.

"In 2022, the war has moved to cyberspace. And technology companies have a great responsibility there, not only to support the companies that use our services, but to ultimately protect the population and society," he said. explained the president of Microsoft.

"The battle line in cyberwar is not the border between the two countries. As we have seen in this case, the war did not begin on February 24 with the launch of the first Russian missile, but a day earlier, when Russia used one of these digital weapons against 300 official targets and banks to disable their systems," Brad Smith explained. "That happened and we know it because we were able to monitor it and act from our cybersecurity center in Redmond. So, in a way, the battle line in the Ukraine war runs through Seattle."

This multinational allocated 100 million dollars so that the Ukrainian government's own services, "which ran in its own data centers, which could be destroyed", were transferred to its public cloud.

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