Today, news broke that the German state of Hesse will no longer be using Microsoft Office 365 in schools. The reason? GDPR. Microsoft no longer maintains a data center in Germany and therefore Office 365 data is available to U.S. authorities providing (hopefully) legal requests for said data.

This is sure to be a common problem schools and businesses face in the EU. Eventually, it will likely be a problem organizations in the United States face. But, it's not really a problem at all. It's a feature not a bug. Compliance is not as difficult as companies make it seem. It's simply a choice by these companies to continue doing business the way it's always been done. They can make the choice at any time to alter their processes and offer customers on premise storage solutions or self-hosted storage.

The idea of massive tech companies relinquishing their control of user data might seem crazy these days, but for a company like Microsoft that has positioned itself as NOT being in the surveillance capitalism business, offering organizations the option to host their data wherever they want while ensuring its always accessible is the right decision. Perhaps Microsoft eventually makes a decision like that, but it is far more likely that they will simply stand up a new data center in Germany to comply with GDPR and recapture any lost clients.

In the mean time, Graphite will be there. Having always offered on premise storage solutions and cloud hosting in the storage provider of the organization's choice, Graphite has always been GDPR compliant. In fact, Graphite stores no user data on its own servers or databases.

Privacy regulations are not a roadblock to software company success. They are a win for individuals. We should embrace them, give users control of their data, and provide solutions that are just as convenient as they've always been but with none of the old data hoarding mentality.

If you want to experience this type of software, try Graphite. It's free for individuals.