Russia Requires Twitter, Facebook, and other Social Media Companies to Store Local User Data Within Territory

Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor is requiring Facebook, Twitter, and other social media companies to have local databases of Russian users by July 1 or face penalties of up to 18 million roubles ($245,100) for non-compliance as announced on Wednesday in the Interfax news agency.

Russia is pushing for new legislation forcing foreign technology companies to establish offices in Russia or face penalties such as advertising bans, as part of Moscow’s wider efforts to exert greater control over Big Tech companies in the country.

“Two companies have already been held administratively responsible last year for failing to comply with this demand,” said Milos Wagner, the deputy head of Roskomnadzor.

Russian regulators have penalized Facebook and Twitter in February 2020 with 4 million roubles fine each for failing to follow Russian data law.

Wagner said Facebook had since paid the fine, but Twitter was still appealing their case.

Roskomnadzor was still waiting for detailed information on how the two companies would meet the data law requirements by July 1.

Facebook and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Roskomnadzor told Interfax that Apple, Samsung, and PayPal were among the more than 600 foreign companies that already have localized repositories in Russia.

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