LinkedIn has refused to maintain a database with personal data of Russian users, which according to IT watchdog Roskomnadzor is the law of the country. LinkedIn was thus banned in Russia. However, the employment-oriented social networking service and Russian authorities were still in talks, raising hope that the ban may be lifted.
LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Microsoft purchased the business in June 2016 for $26.2 billion.
Russia is now saying their talks have broken down with the business, after LinkedIn’s vice president of international public policy, Pablo L. Chavez, issued a letter saying that they won’t be able to store personal information of Russian users.
This means the social network will be the first to stay banned under the country’s new law for foreign internet companies.
The Russian Statement on LinkedIn
Russia issued a statement saying, “The letter says that the company is not ready to eliminate violations of the Russian law. LinkedIn refused to comply with the requirement to localize databases with personal data of Russian citizens on the territory of the Russian Federation, confirming their lack of interest in working on the Russian market”. Roskomnadzor even twitted RIP alongside the logo of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn was banned in Russia last November after Roskomnadzor instructed national telecommunications operators to block the service. LinkedIn filed an appeal at the Moscow City Court against the blockage, but it was rejected on the grounds that they were violating the personal data localization law.
Moscow had asked LinkedIn to relocate their servers because this will provide improved privacy protection to Russians. LinkedIn was worried that the move would make it easier for Russian security services to carry out surveillance.
The Personal Data Localization Law of Russia
According to this law, personal data of Russian users need to be processed and stored in Russia only. The law was passed in 2014 making it mandatory for all foreign internet companies to store the personal data of Russians on servers based in the country. It came into effect in 2015.
A few websites have agreed to comply with the law. But others, such as Twitter and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are also objecting. Roskomnadzor has issued several threats that they may also be banned.
The Russian IT watchdog had previously banned Wikipedia in 2015, but this blockage was because of promoting drug use. The Wikipedia website was reinstated after a few days.