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Russia fines Google $260K for breaching data rules

Russia fines Google $260K for breaching data rules

A Russian court has finedAlphabet's Google RUB 15 million (roughly $260,000) for repeatedly failing to comply with a Russian law demanding tech firms localise user data.

The law demands that Russian citizens or residents' data be collected, processed, and/or stored inside the country. If and when the data is transferred internationally, tech firms are asked to give the user a notice of how the information will be used and obtain their consent. Google has repeatedly failed to comply with this law in Russia.

Moscow's Tagansky District Court said the fine is being imposed over Google's repeated failure to store the personal data of Russian users in databases on Russian territory.

Anton Gorelkin, deputy head of the State Duma Committee on information policy, said Google will not be blocked as it is an extreme measure. "YouTube and Google have not crossed this line of reasonableness, but they are involved in the information war against Russia," he told the media in St Petersburg. He added that Google will stay in Russia if it does not cross the line.

Google also moved some employees out of Russia after the Ukraine war started.

Google is not the only tech giant in trouble with Moscow. The country has issued several fines to foreign companies in recent years. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are already blocked in Russia. Many have criticised the move to be Moscow's efforts to control the internet.

Google and YouTube have been operating in Russia under pressure after Moscow objected to YouTube's treatment of Russian media. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine started, YouTube started removing state-funded media from the platform in an effort to curb misinformation. Over 1,000 channels were removed already.

Google may not pay the fine as Google Russia announced plans to file for bankruptcy in May after Moscow seized its bank account. The tech giant has not yet responded to the Moscow court's order.

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