Twitter, Facebook fined for not moving user data to Russia

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2018, file photo, the logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Twitter reports earnings Thursday, Oct. 25. Twitter reported Thursday, Feb. 6, 2... (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2018, file photo, the logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Twitter reports earnings Thursday, Oct. 25. Twitter reported Thursday, Feb. 6, 2...

MOSCOW (AP) - A court in Moscow fined Twitter and Facebook 4 million rubles each Thursday for refusing to store the personal data of Russian citizens on servers in Russia, the largest penalties imposed on Western technology companies under internet use laws.

The fines of nearly $63,000 are the first five-figure fines levied on tech companies since Russia adopted a flurry of legislation starting in 2012 designed to tighten the government's grip on online activity.

One provision required tech companies to keep servers in Russia for storing personal information they gather from Russian citizens. Russia's internet regulator, Roskomnadzor, has tried unsuccessfully for several years to force large companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google to move Russian user data to Russia.

Commenting on Thursday's court rulings, Roskomnadzor said Twitter and Facebook would be fined 18 million rubles ($283,000) each if they don't comply this year.

Last year, Twitter and Facebook were fined the equivalent of $47 each for violating the same personal data regulation. The punishment had no effect on the two companies, so in December Russian authorities increased the fines.

The law allows online services that don't follow the data storage requirement to be banned from Russia. Only the LinkedIn social network has been blocked so far. It is widely understood that blocking Facebook or Google would elicit too much public outrage for authorities to take the step.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."