WhatsApp, Snapchat fined in Russia for not storing user’s data on local server

Russian regulators have fined chat services WhatsApp and Snapchat for not storing Russian users’ data on local servers, part of a government effort to clamp down on online activity.

A court in Moscow on Thursday fined 18 million rubles (about Rs 2,40,00) over the chat service WhatsApp and a penalty of 1 million rubles for the disappearance of the messaging platform Snapchat. The fines were issued according to a complaint filed by Russia’s state media regulator, Roskomnadzor.

The Russian government has for years tried to establish more control over the internet and social media, an effort that has intensified in recent months as it tries to limit the flow of information about Ukraine.

Neither Facebook parents Meta The platforms, which own WhatsApp, or Snap, the company that runs the Snapchat app, responded to requests for comment.

The court said it was penalizing WhatsApp for repeatedly refusing to localize the data of Russian users. WhatsApp received the first Russian fine, in the amount of 4 million rubles (approximately Rs 52,100,000), in August 2021.

A Moscow court also fined Apple 2 million rubles (approximately Rs 27,00,000) earlier this month on data storage issues. Airbnb, Pinterest was fined the same amount last month.

Competition Authority of Russia speak Earlier this month, it will fine US tech giant Apple for violating Russian antitrust laws and abusing its dominant position in the app store market. The federal antitrust agency (FAS) said it will levy a revenue-based fine against Apple, the size of which will be determined during an administrative investigation. Moscow has long opposed the influence of foreign technology platforms in the Russian market, but the simmering dispute has escalated since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

“The company abused its dominant position in iOS FAS said in a statement.

“Apple prohibits iOS app developers from telling customers inside their apps about the ability to pay for external purchases. App Store or use alternative payment methods,” the statement said.

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