Facebook paid multimillion-ruble fine after violating Russian data law: Moscow court

Facebook has paid a 4 million ruble fine it faced for violating a law requiring the company to store Russian user data on servers physically located inside the country, state media reported Thursday.

A spokesperson for Tagansky District Court in Moscow said Facebook paid the fine in full, Russian media reported, resolving administrative proceedings brought against the U.S. company months earlier.

Converted to U.S. dollars, four million rubles is worth roughly $52,000 — a fraction of the percentage of the company’s worth, but significantly more than the measly 3,000 ruble fine it faced before.

Russian law on the books since 2015 requires foreign businesses that collect data from Russian users to store that information on servers located within the country, but some have outright refused.

Jobs site LinkedIn was blocked by Russian authorities in 2016 for violating the data law, while Facebook and Twitter were fined last year to the tune of 3,000 rubles apiece — about $47 at the time.

Russia has since ramped up the maximum penalty businesses can incur for violating the law, paving the way for Facebook to potentially be fined upwards of 18 million rubles for subsequent infractions.

Facebook declined to comment. The fine was reported paid by Russian state-run media outlets, including RIA Novosti and TASS, among others.


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