21:12 GMT05 August 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter face multi-million ruble fines as they have missed the 1 July deadline to localize databases of Russian users in Russia, the national media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said on Thursday.

    The watchdog's deputy head, Milos Vagner, said in late May that social networks were obliged to store the databases of Russian users in Russia by 1 July and report to the agency. Under Russian law, social networks operating in the country may face a fine of up to 18 million rubles ($245,000) if they violate the data localization law.

    "Roskomnadzor summoned representatives of US internet services Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter to draw up administrative protocols for violating the requirements of Russian legislation in the field of personal data regarding the localizing databases of Russian users in Russia," the watchdog said in a statement.

    Since WhatsApp breached the law for the first time, it may face a fine of up to 6 million rubles, while Twitter and Facebook may be fined up to 18 million rubles for repeated violation of the requirement.

    Twitter and Facebook were first fined by the Russian authorities in 2018. As the companies did not respond to the request of Roskomnadzor to disclose where they store the data of Russian users, each of them was fined 3,000 rubles. In 2020, Twitter and Facebook each were fined 4 million rubles for refusal to comply with data localization laws.

    Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Social media, Roskomnadzor
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