Russian court fines Apple for violating data storage rules

Russia has fined US tech giant Apple for not storing personal data of Russian citizens on Russia-based servers Interfax reported Tuesday.

The fine comes amid Russia’s wider crackdown on Western tech companies following the invasion of Ukraine that saw Facebook and Instagram banned as “extremist” organizations and Twitter blocked.

The Tagansky District Court in Moscow found Apple guilty of failing to locate the Russians’ data and imposed a fine of 2 million rubles ($34,000).

In December 2018, Apple officially notified Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor that the tech giant was transferring its data on Russian citizens to servers inside the country.

apple too open a representative office in Russia in February, becoming the first company to comply with new Kremlin rules requiring foreign technology companies to locate their operations in the country.

But after the Kremlin sent troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24, Apple stopped all product sales and limited the functionality of some of its services like Apple Pay in Russia.

Apple also removed Russian state media RT and Sputnik News from its App Store outside of Russia.

Separately on Tuesday, Russia fined US video conferencing platform Zoom $17,115 for failing to locate Russian user data.

Last month, Russia fined a vacation rental company Airbnbvideo streaming service Tic and social media platform pinterest for not locating user data, ordering them to pay 2 million rubles each.

Russia’s controversial data localization laws past in 2014 require Russian users’ personal data to be stored on national servers.

The largest social network blocked by Russian authorities for violating the whereabouts law is the American professional networking site LinkedIn, which Roskomnadzor blocked in 2016.

Russian authorities have listed about 600 different tech companies that currently comply with the law.

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