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Russia imposes fines on WhatsApp, several others popular services

The companies fail to localise data of Russian users

01.Aug.22 7:37 AM
By Abigail Richards
Photo Verge


Russia imposes fines on WhatsApp, several others popular services

A Russian court on Thursday imposed fines on WhatsApp, Snapchat and Tinder, among others, writes Reuters. The tech companies store personal data of Russian users across the border and this is not allowed under Russian law.

WhatsApp gets the highest fine, because the company ignored previous warnings. Russia wants the chat service to now pay 18 million Russian rubles, it is almost 280,000 euros.

Other companies receive much lower fines. For example, Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, will have to pay 2 million rubles (32,000 euros). Snap and get a fine of 16,000 euros and Spotify of 8,000 euros.

The telecom regulator Roskomnadzor says that the companies did not prove in time that they store data of Russian users in Russia itself. This has been mandatory since 2015. The country says the law is necessary to ensure that foreign intelligence agencies do not gain access to personal data.

The relationship between Western tech companies and Russia is difficult. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has only gotten worse. Facebook Instagram and Facebook have been restricted in Russia. According to the Russians, the parent company Meta is guilty of extremist activities. Meta chat service WhatsApp still works in the country. Spotify completely suspended its  operations in Russia last March.

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