According to Roskomnadzor, the media, mass communications, information technology and communications regulator initiated administrative proceedings against Facebook, Inc. and Twitter, Inc. on January 31, 2020. Each of them faces a fine of one to six million rubles.
"The said companies failed to provide in due time information on the fulfillment of requirements for localization of databases of Russian users of the relevant social networks on servers located in the territory of the Russian Federation, which is stipulated by part 5 of Article 18 of the Law "On Personal Data" № 152-FZ. Administrative proceedings were initiated on indications of committing an administrative offense under part 8 of Article 13.11 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation, providing for an administrative fine of 1 million to 6 million rubles. – Roskomnadzor said in a report.
Also, the agency said that the protocol on initiation of proceedings against two companies at once was drawn up in the presence of a representative of Twitter. A representative of Facebook did not show up to sign the protocol, so a copy of the protocol will be sent by Roskomnadzor to the company within three days.
"At this stage [author’s note – after the RCN protocol has been sent to the court] we should wait for the court decision, it is premature to discuss possible scenarios now, " reported Roskomnadzor representative to the RBC agency, responding to a question about what the agency intends to do next.
Earlier in 2019, Facebook and Twitter, by court order, had already fined for storing the data of Russians abroad. The maximum fine for such a violation stipulated by law at the time was five thousand rubles. For example, the microblogging service Twitter paid July 26, 2019 a fine of three thousand rubles for refusing to provide Roskomnadzor with information about the localization of Russian users’ data in Russia.
In April 2019, Alexander Zharov, head of Roskomnadzor reported that Facebook and Twitter were given another nine months to localize personal data of Russian users in the Russian Federation (until January 31, 2020), and expressed the hope that it would not come to blocking of these services in our country.
In late September 2019, Rep. Roskomnadzor reminded Facebook and Twitter about the imminent expiration of the nine-month deadline to localize Russian user databases.
As of December 2, 2019, the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offenses (CAO) was amended – bill #729516-7 Major amendments have been made to To Article 13.11 of the CAO "Violation of the legislation of the Russian Federation in the field of personal data" and Article 13.31 of the CAO "Failure to perform duties by the organizer of information dissemination on the Internet."
Thus, since the beginning of 2020 IT-companies for refusal to store personal data of Russian users on servers in Russia will be fined at increased rates. For an initial violation a legal entity can be fined from one to six million rubles, for a repeat violation the fine will be from six to eighteen million rubles.
On December 31, 2019, Roskomnadzor sent requests for localization of Facebook and Twitter databases, and they had until January 31, 2020 to respond.
January 30, 2020 Roskomnadzor reported to the TASS news agency that it would begin examining the situation with the enforcement of personal data laws by U.S. companies Facebook and Twitter starting January 31.
"Roskomnadzor is in business correspondence with Facebook and Twitter. After the deadline [author’s note – deferral] expires, we will study the circumstances and, if we see signs of an administrative offense, we will act in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, " the regulator’s press service said on January 30, 2020.