Google fined $260,000 by Russian Court for data rule violation

A Moscow court on Thursday said it had fined Alphabet’s Google 15 million rubles (about 2.07 crore) for repeatedly failing to comply with Russian law requiring tech companies to localize user data.

Russia has slapped fines against foreign tech companies in recent years over a series of violations, with critics saying Moscow is trying to strengthen its control over the internet.

Google declined to comment.

Russia has restricted access to Twitter and Metatop social networks of, Facebook and Instagrambut Google and it YouTube Video hosting services, although under a lot of pressure, are still available today. Moscow is particularly opposed to YouTube’s treatment of Russian media it has blocked. But Anton Gorelkin, deputy chair of the National Duma Committee on information policy, said the US company was not yet at risk of a similar fate. “Blocking is an extreme measure and YouTube and Google have not crossed this logical line, but they are engaged in an information war against Russia,” Gorelkin told reporters at the International Economic Forum. St. Petersburg.

Moscow’s Tagansky District Court said it had imposed the fine for what it described as Google’s repeated failure to store personal data of Russian users in a database on Russian territory. Google moved some employees out of Russia after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in late February.

Photo sharing app LikeMe was fined 1.5 million RUB (approximately 20,70,972) for its first violation. LikeMe could not be reached for comment. Google’s solvency could be hampered when its Russian subsidiary announced plans to file for bankruptcy in May after authorities seized its bank accounts. Gorelkin said Google could not be a global leader without operating in China, and pointed to Yandex, often seen as Russia’s answer to Google, as a possible competitor. “I’m sure that Google will stay in Russia if it doesn’t cross the line,” he said.

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