What happened now? Russia has reportedly fined Airbnb, Pinterest, UPS and Twitch for not storing data received from Russian users on servers located within its borders. The same law led to the complete blocking of LinkedIn in the country a few years ago.

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According to the new reportA Moscow court fined several Western companies for refusing to store personal data collected from Russian citizens on servers located in the country.

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Airbnb, Pinterest and Twitch were reportedly fined 2 million rubles ($38,113) each, and UPS 1 million rubles ($19,057). These numbers sound a little ridiculous considering all of these companies reported multi-billion dollar revenues last year.

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Russia data localization law entered into force in 2015 and obliges any technology company operating in the country to store all data about Russian users on local servers.

This is not the first time that companies have imposed fines in connection with this law. In 2021 the Russian authorities fined WhatsApp 4 million rubles ($53,880 at the time), Facebook 15 million rubles ($201,975) and Twitter 17 million rubles ($290,444). In 2016, the social network LinkedIn got banned within the country for violating the same law.

Roskomnadzor, Russian communications regulator, announced last month that he also opened a case against Apple. The company faces a fine of up to 6 million rubles, as this will be only the first violation.

Convincing companies to store user data on servers in Russia can be a daunting task, especially given the sanctions the country is facing. IBM as well as Microsoft dismiss the majority of their employees in Russia, and the latter even blocking users in the region from downloading Windows from their website.