Russia to Twitter: Comply With Data Localization

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By Sergei Blagov

Jan. 20 — The Russian data protection regulator announced Jan. 20 that it urged Twitter Inc. to comply with the country's data localization regulations.

Alexander Zharov, head of the Federal Service for Oversight of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, also known under its Russian acronym Roscomnadzor, met Twitter Vice President Colin Crowell to discuss compliance with data localization rules, Roscomnadzor said.

The data localization law (Federal Law No. 242-FZ), which requires companies to store all personal data of Russian citizens in databases located inside Russia, took effect Sept. 1, 2015 (14 PVLR 1633, 9/7/15).

Twitter's user agreement and confidentiality policy clearly indicate that Twitter processes Russian users' personal data, Roscomnadzor said, and therefore the company must fully meet the data localization requirements.

“Our public policy team routinely meets with government representatives, about a wide range of issues that impact our operations in different countries,” Twitter told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 20. “Twitter is a global communications platform with users, offices, and employees around the world,” the company said.

Roscomnadzor didn't immediately respond to Bloomberg BNA's request for further comment on data localization compliance matters.

In recent years, Roscomnadzor complained that Twitter was very slow to respond to the agency's requests. In November 2015, Zharov said Twitter would face compliance audits “sooner or later” (14 PVLR 2095, 11/16/15) and in December, he added that “time will come” for compliance audits of Twitter as well as Facebook Inc. (15 PVLR 43, 1/4/16).

To contact the reporter on this story: Sergei Blagov in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jimmy H. Koo at