Russia Pledges More Data Localization Audits

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By Sergei Blagov

Nov. 12 — The Russian data protection authority pledged to audit more businesses to check compliance with the country's data localization law.

The law, that requires to store all personal data of Russian citizens in databases located inside Russia, took effect on Sept. 1.

The Federal Service for Oversight of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roscomnadzor), said the country's regulations, including the data localization requirements, were aimed to protect personal confidentiality. “The government must protect citizen's rights and combat violations,” Roscomnadzor head Alexander Zharov said Nov. 11.

This year, Roscomnadzor planned to audit compliance of some 300 companies with the data localization requirements, Zharov said. Next year, there will be more compliance audits than in 2015.

Roscomnadzor notified Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. about the Russian data localization requirements, the agency said. Zharov also said Roscomnadzor was yet to receive any response from Facebook or Twitter, adding that both companies would face compliance audits “sooner or later.”

The full list of compliance audits planned for 2016 will be published in December, Roscomnadzor said in a Nov. 10 statement.

Zharov also said Roscomnadzor could be given powers to block non-compliant websites without court orders, and declare domain names undelegated. But the agency would be using these powers cautiously, Zharov said.

Last September, Roscomnadzor said a possible amendment of the data localization requirements remained a matter of discussion. However, no decisions on amendment of these requirements have been disclosed so far.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sergei Blagov in Moscow at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jimmy H. Koo at jkoo@bna.com