Airbnb, UPS, and Twitch have been fined for not storing personal data in Russia

A Russian court said on Tuesday it fined video streaming service Twitch, photo hosting Pinterest, holiday rental company Airbnb, and logistics company United Parcel Service (UPS) for refusing to store personal data of Russian citizens in Russia.

According to local law, all databases related to the recording, systematization, accumulation, and storage of personal data of Russian citizens must be carried out on the territory of Russia.

Separately based in Canada, the storytelling platform Wattpad Corp. was fined by the court 1 million rubles for not deleting content that Russia considers illegal.

In late May, Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor filed administrative lawsuits against Twitch, owned by Amazon, Pinterest, Airbnb, UPS, and two other foreign companies. They are all accused of violating personal data legislation.

The press service of the Moscow court reported that Twitch, Pinterest, and Airbnb were fined two million rubles each ($ 37,700), and UPS – 1 million rubles.

Roskomnadzor is suing Apple and Likeme. The LinkedIn social network is already blocked for violating the localization requirement.

Last month, Google’s Russian company filed for bankruptcy after authorities blocked its bank accounts to collect a 15m-ruble fine for repeated non-compliance with Russian law.

Google liquidated its Russian office after pressure from the state

The American company Google (Google) finally ceased its activities in Russia after the seizure of the bank accounts of its subsidiary in the country. The decision is to apply to the arbitral tribunal for recognition of its insolvency.

“We have recently stopped almost all commercial operations in Russia. Today we report that the blocking of a Google Russia bank account has made it impossible for our Russian office to operate, including maintaining employees and paying them in Russia,” the statement said.

In addition, the company has no way to pay suppliers and subcontractors, as well as to fulfill other financial obligations.

This does not mean stopping all services – the Russians can still use the free versions of YouTube, Gmail, Google maps, the Google Play application platform, and others.

The court imposed a fine of over 7.2 billion rubles on the claims of the Roskomnadzor regulator Roskomnadzor, which has great powers. The company had to pay them voluntarily before March 19. In May, bailiffs in the Russian Federation filed a lawsuit against Google for imposing receivables on its turnover.

The company has also been fined several times by the court for failing to remove content banned by the Vladimir Putin regime from its websites, including Youtube. Several lawsuits have also been filed in the arbitration court, where the plaintiffs are Russian media – mainly the budget-funded RT.

At the end of 2021, the Russian legal entity Google reported a net loss of 26 billion rubles – the company’s first loss since at least 2009. In May 2022, Google banned Russian users and developers from downloading and updating paid apps on Google Play. Free apps remain available.

Also on March 10, due to payment problems in foreign online stores, Google restricted the operation of Google Play in Russia. In addition, the applications of Russian banks, which were subject to sanctions, were removed from Google Play.

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