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Today we are announcing the all-new  Cisco Webex Suite for rich, interactive hybrid work experiences. As we think about the hybrid workforce, privacy and security are always top of mind for us.

Cisco Webex is built on industry-leading security and now enables all European customers, from both the public and private sectors, to store and process their Webex data in the European Union (EU).

Leading with innovation: enabling a more inclusive future

EU data residency is part of our commitment and strategy to lead with choice, trust and innovation. Since September 2020, we have launched over 800 new innovations for Cisco Webex, all underpinned with the security and privacy principles that are core to our business.

Throughout the pandemic, I was proud to see how we were able to help businesses continue to operate securely by using Webex, how we’ve helped governments continue to lead remotely, doctors meet and treat patients safely, and educators teach students at a distance.

With the latest Webex innovations, we are getting closer to reaching our goal of powering a more inclusive future where everyone can participate, regardless of geography, language preference, personality type, or familiarity with technology. And with our EU data residency offering, we confirm our dedication to data localization in the EU, as well as our commitment to privacy and trust as prime drivers of our business.

Leading with trust: end-to-end encryption & putting customers in control

An important factor for our customers as they consider data residency is ensuring that the handling of their data meets EU data protection standards and that they have control over public authorities access to their data. Options for end-to-end encryption of Webex Meetings have been available since 2008, and we are now extending and strengthening these. Webex is defining the future of secure meetings that are built on standards-based cryptography, end-to-end verified identity and support end-to-end encryption for all Webex applications and devices. This means our customers are the only ones who have access to their meeting content – including voice, video and chat.

Where governments request to access customer data, we apply our principled, transparent approach: first and foremost, we redirect the requester to the customer. We’ll challenge any request that is in potential breach of data protection and privacy laws. Twice a year, we publish a Transparency Report on all the requests for customer data we receive along with our response.

Leading with data protection: going beyond the EU rules

At Cisco, we believe that privacy is a fundamental human right. We integrate security and privacy from the earliest stages of development, making sure they are built in by design, not bolted on after the fact.

We were among the first in the industry to publicly share Privacy Data Sheets for our offers. These show not only what data we were processing, but also why, how, where, and how it’s protected.

I am pleased to add that Cisco is one of the earliest adherents to the EU Code of Conduct for Cloud Providers, the first official EU Code under GDPR. We are proud to be part of this initiative and expect Webex to be our first cloud offering to pass the approval in the coming weeks. For further details, see our overview of Webex security and privacy certifications.

As the EU digital ecosystem matures and the European Data Strategy comes into fruition, we intend to synchronise our Webex services with the emerging European trusted cloud environment, through our Gaia-X membership.

Leading with choice: EU data residency

Cisco is committed to providing a consistent, high level of data protection when handling our customers’ data, no matter where they are in the world. Today, I’m pleased to share the details of our EU data residency roadmap to meet privacy concerns and to bring data closer to our customers.

Announced in March, our new Webex data center in Frankfurt (Germany) is now operational and paired with a second data center in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) for backup, resiliency and availability. This means that European customers will be able to store and process their data within the EU – including meeting recordings, shared files, or chats – all part of our customers’ daily Webex experience.

Beginning July 2021, customers in the EU region who will move from our UK data center to the one in Frankfurt will have access to a new user experience and will be able to see where their Webex data is located through the Control Hub, along with a detailed migration plan for their organisation. The Control Hub will be made available to more customers in the future.

Going beyond user generated content, as of July, analytics data as well as Webex Identity – the solution enabling a consistent user profile across Webex and the customer’s directory – will be processed in Frankfurt. Our commitment is that by the end of 2022 any remaining usage data, related to billing or operations, will be either processed in the EU or have personally identifiable information removed.

For us, privacy is more than a compliance obligation, it is a fundamental human right and business imperative. We have established long-standing security, data protection, and privacy programs. As connectivity and technology become even more foundational to people’s economic, social and cultural lives, Cisco’s commitment to privacy is stronger than ever and we will keep advancing our security and privacy measures in this constantly evolving world.