Tinder, along with WhatsApp and Snapchat, were ordered to pay millions of rubles for refusing to comply with Russian data localization law
A Moscow court has fined the entities that own popular social media platforms Snapchat, Tinder and WhatsApp for refusing to locate Russian user data in the country, courtroom reports showed Thursday. All three platforms are owned by companies based in the US state of California.
Tinder was ordered to pay 2 million rubles ($33,300) and Snapchat was fined 1 million rubles ($16,000) for their refusal to follow Russian data localization laws. Meanwhile, WhatsApp was found guilty of repeated violations of the law and was fined up to 18 million rubles ($300,000).
The Tagansky District World Court in Moscow launched the case against the owners of Whatsapp, Spotify, Tinder and Snapchat earlier this month for violating a Russian law that requires operators to ensure that the registration, systematization, accumulation, storage, clarification (updates, changes) or extraction of personal data of citizens of the Russian Federation is carried out using databases located in Russia. The fine for violating this law can range from 1 to 6 million rubles ($16,600 to $100,000), while a repeated violation can cost up to 18 million rubles.
Roskomnadzor, Russia’s national internet and media watchdog, previously reported that around 600 representative offices of foreign companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, PayPal, Booking and LG, among others, had localized storage of personal data of Russian users.
However, a number of social media sites, including LinkedIn, have been blocked in Russia for refusing to comply with the location requirement.
Russia has taken a strong stance against the way foreign tech companies operate in the country and has been particularly critical of how foreign platforms distribute content online.
In March, Russia banned Facebook and Instagram after naming their owner, US tech giant Meta, an extremist organization for refusing to remove what Moscow saw as fake content about the conflict in Ukraine, calling for protests illegal, as well as targeted hate speech. against Russian nationals.
Google has also been targeted by Russian authorities on several occasions. Just last week, he was fined $366 million for repeatedly failing to remove “misleading” information from YouTube about Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine.
Roskomnadzor says it sent 17 requests to Google to comply with Russian law before issuing the fine, but the tech giant refused to comply. The watchdog says Google has yet to remove at least 7,000 “illegal materials” from the video hosting platform.
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