NZ's OPC to move data to Azure servers

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 29 October, 2018

NZ's OPC to move data to Azure servers

New Zealand’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) has revealed plans to move all its applications and data to Microsoft Azure and Office 365 servers.

The agency made the decision to store its data in the cloud as a replacement for its ageing on-premise infrastructure, which was last upgraded in 2012.

The decision follows a detailed privacy impact assessment which concluded that the agency will be able to protect individual privacy even after migrating the data to external servers. It found that the move will in fact provide privacy and security benefits over current arrangements.

While the migration will require the OPC to store data offshore — the data will be primarily stored at Microsoft’s data centres in Sydney, with possible backups in Melbourne — the OPC said it is satisfied that Australian privacy laws provide an equivalent level of protection to New Zealand law.

Microsoft’s terms of service will also ensure the OPC has control over the data even while it is stored in Microsoft data centres.

“This commercial arrangement will ensure that we are able to access state-of-the-art support and security at a fraction of the cost at which we could do it ourselves, or through any onshore provider,” the agency said in a public announcement.

“This means that our data is safer, and we have more resources to deploy to other parts of our business. Our move to an externally hosted environment is consistent with government policy to encourage the uptake of outsourced data storage and processing.”

The migration is being conducted in conjunction with the OPC’s IT strategic partners, Wellington’s LANWorx Limited and Sydney-based Objective Corporation.

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