Russia fines Google for breaching personal data law

Russia fines Google over $41,000 for violating law on data localization

Russia on Thursday fined Google 3 million roubles ($41,017) for violating personal data legislation, Google’s first fine for that offence, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court said.

Google refused to implement the law, demanding to store the data of the Russian users on the territory of the country, the court’s press service said in a statement.

Google confirmed the fine and offered no further comment.

Russia routinely fines social media giants for failing to remove banned content and seeking to compel foreign tech firms to open offices in Russia.

According to the law adopted in 2015, all foreign companies must keep the data of their Russian users on the computer servers in the country. The Russian government has been seeking to tighten control over the Russian segment of the web and develop a so-called “sovereign internet”

Business social network platform LinkedIn in 2016 and Telegram messenger app in 2018 were blocked in Russia due to the same reasons, with Telegram freed from restrictions in 2020 after meeting the requirements.

State communications regulator Roskomnadzor said last month that Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O), could be fined up to 6 million roubles for not storing the personal data of Russian users in databases on Russian territory.

Russia has previously fined Google for not deleting banned content. Google has also irked the Russian authorities by blocking some YouTube accounts owned by pro-Kremlin figures and media.

This is the first time the U.S. company has been penalized for breaching the controversial law passed in 2014 that requires the personal data of Russian users to be stored inside Russia.

Twitter and Facebook were fined last year for failing to comply while the networking website LinkedIn was blocked by Russia after it refused to move the data of Russian users.

(Source: Reuters and AFP)

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