Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Google Faces $164,000 Fine for Non-Compliance on Data

Wed 15 Nov 2023 | 09:43 AM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

A Russian court in Moscow's Tagansky district imposed a fine of 15 million rubles (approximately $164,000) on American tech giant Google.

This decision, announced on Tuesday, comes as part of ongoing tensions between Moscow and the West, especially in the context of the war in Ukraine.

The fine was levied against Google for its repeated refusal to store the personal data of its Russian users in Russia, a requirement under Russian law. 

This is not the first time Google has faced penalties in Russia for similar reasons; the company was previously fined in August 2021 and June 2022.

In a separate ruling in August, Google was also ordered to pay a 3 million ruble fine (around $33,000) for failing to delete what the Russian government deemed "false information" regarding the conflict in Ukraine.

However, the enforcement of these fines poses a challenge for Russia, as Google effectively ceased its operations in the country last year. 

This move followed Moscow's deployment of troops to Ukraine. 

Google declared bankruptcy in Russia after authorities seized its bank account, rendering it unable to pay its employees and suppliers.

In addition to Google, Russian courts have also imposed fines on other major international entities, including Apple and the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts Wikipedia.

Since the onset of the Russian offensive in Ukraine in February 2022, Moscow has taken various measures to suppress criticism of its military campaign. 

Some critics, like Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza, faced severe repercussions, including a 25-year prison sentence for treason due to his speeches criticizing Russia's war in Ukraine.

This series of fines and legal actions reflects Russia's broader strategy to control the narrative and information surrounding its military actions in Ukraine and its stance on data sovereignty.