Press release

Digital life goes on even without Microsoft 365

The Conference of the Independent Data Protection Authorities of Germany (Datenschutzkonferenz or DSK) has judged that it is not possible to use Microsoft Office 365 in accordance with German and EU data protection regulations. However, this in no way implies that digital life will come to a sudden halt. Full-fledged alternatives are readily available.
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Tobias Gerlinger, CEO ownCloud - Digital life goes on even without Microsoft 365

Tobias Gerlinger, CEO, ownCloud


The Conference of the Independent Data Protection Authorities of Germany (Datenschutzkonferenz or DSK) has declared the use of Microsoft 365 illegal. But critics say that digital life is not possible without this tool. This claim, however, is fallacious.

– Tobias Gerlinger, CEO and Managing Director of ownCloud in Nuremberg.




The fact that Microsoft 365 is not compatible with European data protection laws is no longer a secret. Nevertheless, the joint determination of the Data Protection Conference of the Federal Government and the Länder (DSK) has a new quality.

In November 2022, the DSK declared the use of the public cloud service to be incompatible with GDPR. The reason behind this consensus is a series of concerns related to inadequate transparency in the way Microsoft processes personal data for its own purposes, as well as lack of proof of the lawfulness of the process.

This consensus among top data protection officials is likely to make penalties for violations more likely and consequently render the use of Microsoft 365 more precarious.

The DSK’s assessment strengthens European data protection law and is therefore to be welcomed. But this consensus has also attracted its share of criticism. A few other data protectionists have publicly complained about the determination and warned that, for lack of alternatives, a digital life without Microsoft 365 is not possible at the moment.

However, this claim is far-fetched and has no foundation in truth.

Full-fledged alternatives are available for all areas of application of the Microsoft service. For example, enterprises have the option of purchasing complete collaboration solutions including cloud storage, Web Office, video and chat from a single source and having them operated by a DSGVO-compliant host of their choice or using them as software as a service for a simpler option. So, a digital life without Microsoft 365 is possible at any time – even without violating data protection laws and without surrendering digital sovereignty.

Based on Press Release published in PR-COM (Text in German)

How does ownCloud GDPR compliance and a high level of data protection for your enterprise? Find out here.



January 11, 2023

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