A Moscow court said Thursday it had fined Alphabet’s Google RUB 15 million (about 2.07 crore) for repeatedly failing to comply with a Russian law requiring tech companies to locate user data.
Russia has fined foreign tech companies several times in recent years for a range of breaches, which critics say are Moscow’s attempt to exert more control over the internet.
Google declined to comment.
Russia has restricted access to Twitter and Meta’s flagship social networks, Facebook and Instagram, but Google and its YouTube video hosting service will remain available for now, although they are under pressure. In particular, Moscow objects to YouTube’s handling of Russian media, which it has blocked. But Anton Gorelkin, deputy head of the State Duma Information Policy Committee, said the US company was not yet in danger of suffering the same fate. they are involved in the information war against Russia,” Gorelkin told reporters at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The Moscow District Court of Tagansky said it had fined what it described as Google’s repeated failure to store Russian users’ personal data in databases on Russian territory. Google has pulled some workers from Russia after Moscow sent troops to Ukraine in late February.
Photo sharing application LikeMe was fined RUB 1.5 million (about 20,70,972) for a first violation. LikeMe could not be reached for comment. Google’s ability to pay could be hampered as its Russian subsidiary announced plans to file for bankruptcy in May after authorities seized its bank account. Gorelkin said Google couldn’t be a global leader without operations in China and pointed to Yandex, often referred to as Russia’s answer to Google, as a viable competitor. “I’m sure Google will stay in Russia if it doesn’t cross the border,” he said.