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Moscow Court Fines Facebook For Failing To Provide Info On User Data

A court in Moscow has fined Facebook for failing to tell authorities where it stores Russian user data, a ruling that highlights wrangling between tech giants and Russia as it tightens Internet controls.

Judge Anton Kozyrev of the magistrate's court in the Tagansky district on April 12 ordered Facebook to pay 3,000 rubles ($46), the minimal fine envisioned by the law, for violating the legislation that requires social media companies to store user data on servers located in Russia.

The decision comes amid the Kremlin's efforts to expand government control over the Internet.

The legislation also requires online companies to inform authorities where they store Russian user data.

Facebook representatives did not attend the hearing, the court said.

On April 5, the same court fined Twitter the same amount for failing to supply information to Russia’s authorities on where it stores its Russian users’ personal data.

In January, Russia's communications watchdog Roskomnadzor launched administrative proceedings against Twitter and Facebook for failing to comply with legislation requiring them to store the personal data of Russian citizens on servers in Russia.

Earlier in December, Roskomnadzor head Aleksandr Zharov warned the companies that they were not in compliance with the law.

Under the administrative proceeding, the companies could be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($77) and given six months to one year to demonstrate their compliance with the law.

The law on personal data was adopted in September 2015 and requires domestic and foreign companies to store the personal data of Russian citizens on servers in Russia.

Based on reporting by TASS, Meduza, Reuters, and Interfax

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