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A Russian court punished Meta Platforms’ WhatsApp messaging, Snapchat owner Snap, and several foreign corporations   for allegedly refusing to store Russian customers’ data domestically.

Moscow has clashed with Big Tech over content, censorship, data, and local representation in escalating disputes since Russia pushed troops into Ukraine on February 24. more info

After receiving a 4 million rouble fine in August, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court fined WhatsApp 18 million roubles ($301,255) for a repeat offence. WhatsApp’s fine eclipsed Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google’s (15 million rouble) penalty for a repeat breach last month.

Tinder owner Match Group was fined 2 million roubles, Snap and were fined 1 million roubles, while music streaming provider Spotify (SPOT.N) was fined 500,000 roubles.
Requests for comment were not immediately returned by any of the companies.Spotify dissolved its Russian office in March and abruptly ceased operations in the country. more info

According to the RIA news agency, a lawyer for stated that the company did not recognise the allegation as an offence, and that the company has stopped processing data from Russian consumers since April 1

Soon after the conflict in Ukraine began, Russia banned access to Meta’s key platforms Facebook and Instagram, as well as fellow social network Twitter (TWTR.N), in what critics saw as an attempt by Russia to gain greater control over information flows.
In Russia, Meta was found guilty of “extremist activities” and had an appeal against the tag dismissed in June, but Moscow has allowed WhatsApp to remain operational. more info

Since the data storage law was passed in 2015, more than 600 foreign corporations have agreed to Russia’s demands, according to Anton Gorelkin, deputy director of the Russian parliament’s information policy committee.“In the context of the information war with the West, we are convinced that this law was necessary,” Gorelkin wrote on Telegram. “Only in this way can we be sure that foreign intelligence services and all kinds of fraudsters do not gain access to (the data).”