Twitter Fined in Russia over Non-Compliance with Data Law

A Moscow court on Friday fined social media company Twitter 3,000 rubles ($46) for refusing to disclose information requested by the country’s officials under a controversial data law, Kommersant reports.

According to the newspaper, while the fine is miniscule, further non-compliance with the law could lead to the social media giant being blocked in Russia.

The fine has been imposed amid an ongoing stand-off between several social media platforms and The Russian communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor. Last December, the regulator ordered Facebook and Twitter to disclose the location of servers that store the personal data of Russian citizens. According to the laws of the country, this data must be stored locally and not overseas.

According to Roskomnadzor, neither company has provided a “concrete answer” to its question, and an administrative case against them has been filed.

In response, Twitter insisted that there it does not consider itself guilty. The company’s lawyers said Twitter has always “responded promptly to all complaints” and “is ready to negotiate.”

A similar administrative case against Facebook has been delayed due to its representatives failing to appear in court, causing hearings to be postponed.

If a social media platform does not operate in accordance with Russian law on personal data protection, it can face heavy fines and ultimately be blocked in the country if it refuses to amend its practices.