Foreign IT Companies May Be Banned From Collecting Russians’ Personal Data

The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) will be able to prohibit large foreign Internet resources the owners of which do not fulfil the requirements for opening branches or representative offices in the Russian Federation from collecting personal data of Russians. The corresponding sanction is contained in the bill on the regulation of the work of IT giants which is posted in the electronic database of the Russian State Duma.  

The bill obliges the owners of large foreign Internet resources with a daily audience of more than 500 thousand Russian users from January 1, 2022, to create branches in the Russian Federation, open representative offices or establish Russian legal entities that must fully represent the interests of parent companies. They must receive and consider applications from Russian citizens, execute court decisions and requirements of the Russian authorities, represent the interests of an IT company in courts, and block illegal content.

In addition, large foreign Internet resources will have to open a personal account on the Roskomnadzor website to interact with government agencies and post on their own website an electronic form for requests from Russian citizens and organizations. Among other measures, a ban on the distribution of advertising on an information resource, on making payments to it, a ban on search results, as well as informing users of Internet resources about violation of the legislation of the Russian Federation.

According to one of the authors of the initiative, deputy Anton Gorelkin, the overwhelming majority of foreign platforms operating in Russia “will open Russian representations without a conflict”. He clarified that the new requirements will affect not only “well-known deviators, like Facebook and Twitter” but also Google and Apple, since Google LLC and Apple Rus currently operating in Russia do not officially represent their parent companies but only offer advertising departments or sales offices.

Ru-Main, 21.05.2021 

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