Western Internet companies operating in Russia and Russian Internet giants and media companies are the targets of investigation and potential new legislation on personal data.
The committee for information policy of the Council of the Federation – the upper house of the Russian Parliament – has been investigating whether user agreements of major Internet sites meet the strict restrictions of the personal data law. Ruslan Gattarov, an influential the Senator, heads this committee.
The committee has already completed its investigation of Google’s user agreements and decided that they do not conform to the law on personal data. Before the end of the summer, the committee will also verify the user agreements of other Western Internet companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Yahoo. The committee will also look into the user agreements of Russian media sites and Russian Internet giants in the coming months.
While Senator Gattarov insists that all sites must revise their user agreements to conform to Russia’s restrictive law on personal data, another lawmaker, Sergey Zheleznyak, believes that all personal information of Russian citizens and data from governmental entities should be stored exclusively on servers located on Russian territory. Zheleznyak hopes to get a bill passed in the fall to this effect.
The Russian personal data law imposes strict legal obligations on both public and private organizations dealing with personal data, especially regarding the protection of stored personal data.