A Moscow court on Thursday fined both Twitter and Facebook 4 million rubles (about $63,000) for refusing to store Russian citizens’ personal data on servers in Russia,media reported. It is the largest russian fine for Western technology companies under Internet use laws.
The nearly $63,000 fine is the first five-figure fine russia has issued to technology companies since it introduced a series of laws in 2012 to tighten government control over online activity.
It was learned that one of the provisions of the law required technology companies to keep servers containing personal data of Russian citizens in Russia. For years, Roskomnadzor, Russia’s internet regulator, has been unsuccessfulin in getting big companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google to transfer Russian user data to Russia.
Commenting on the court’s ruling, Roskomnadzor said Twitter and Facebook would be fined 18 million rubles ($283,000) each if they did not comply this year.
Last year, the two were also fined $47 each for violating the same personal data rules. The penalty had no effect on the two companies, and Russian authorities increased the fine in December.