Tagansky District Court of Moscow, Russia, has imposed approximately 36 million rubles (M RUB) ($485K) as a fine on the social media companies for breaching the data localization rules. According to Roskomnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, & mass media of Russia), Facebook, Twitter & WhatsApp are the media giants which were imposed with hefty fines of 15 M RUB ($202K), 17 M RUB ($228K) and 4 M RUB ($54K) respectively.

As per the data localization legislation, the personal data of the Russian users are to be stored in the local servers but these western social media giants’ have violated it which has resulted in a hefty fine. This legislation of 2014 was adopted in 2015 which carried the objective of keeping control over the online content and communication in the Russian hands.

This also means that is easier for the state to set up extrajudicial access with the help of surveillance or accessing the company servers which fall within the jurisdiction of the state. Russia’s strictness over the legislation is crystal clear through its act where it went to the extent of blocking LinkedIn in 2016 for non-compliance as well as imposing a fine of 3 M RUB ($41K) on Google for the same.

By- Amrita Mohanty

(Legal Intern, WCSF)

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