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Moscow court fines Google for refusing to localize Russian users’ data

Source: TASS

A Russian justice of the peace has fined Google LLC three million rubles ($40,950) for refusing to localize Russian users’ data on the territory of the Russian Federation.

The magistrate court department No. 422 of Moscow's Tagansky District Court handed down the fine to the tech giant on Thursday, July 29. Google was found guilty of violating Russia’s personal data laws (under Administrative Code Article 13.11, section 8), reports the state news agency TASS, citing a spokesperson for the court.

This is the first fine handed down to Google for refusing to localize Russian users’ data, TASS notes. Russian courts have previously fined the company for refusing to remove prohibited information.

In April, Russia’s federal censor (Roskomnadzor) gave Google, as well as Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp, until the end of May to respond to questions about the localization of Russian users’ data on Russian territory. Roskomnadzor warned that if the agency didn’t receive a response, it would seek to hold the tech companies accountable for violating Russia’s personal data laws.

In February 2020, Russian courts fined Facebook and Twitter 4 million rubles ($54,600) each for failing to localize the data of Russian citizens. Facebook paid the fine, but Twitter disputed the court ruling.

In March, Roskomnadzor began throttling Twitter traffic in Russia due to the social network’s alleged failure to remove banned content. The censorship agency threatened Google with similar measures on May 24. 

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