9 Aug 2022 17:04

Apple, Ookla appeal fines over refusal to localize Russian users' data - court

MOSCOW. Aug 9 (Interfax) - The U.S. companies Apple Inc. and Ookla (the owner of the Speedtest Internet speed testing service) have appealed multi-million ruble fines imposed on them over their refusal to localize Russian users' data in Russia, a magistrates court told Interfax.

"The 442nd district magistrates' court in Moscow has registered appeals from the Apple and Ookla companies. The companies were fined 2 million and 1 million rubles, respectively, on July 12 consistent with Part 8 Article 13.11 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses (the failure of an operator gathering personal data to record, systematize, accumulate and store personal data of Russian citizens in databases on Russian territory)," the court said.

Apple representatives told the court earlier that the corporation was not responsible for gathering personal data in Russia. "The party gathering data in Russia is not being held responsible. The motion has been brought against Apple Inc., while Apple Distribution is in charge of data processing," the lawyer said. Therefore, the defense asked not to hold Apple Inc. accountable.

The Roskomnadzor representative disagreed and told the court that Apple Inc. administers the Apple website accumulating the data. "There is no information about other legal entities on the company website, so we deem the motion to be drafted correctly," the representative said.

The Russian office of Apple Inc., Apple Rus LLC, formally notified Roskomnadzor in December 2018 about localizing Russian users' data in Russia and was added to the register of personal data operators.

Ookla is a world leading company in Internet testing and the creator of the popular Speedtest Intelligence service, which analyzes Internet speed and connection delays. Tests are facilitated in an Internet browser or on platforms such as Windows, Android, IOS, Apple TV and MacOS. According to data released for 2021, Speedtest conducted more than 38 billion tests.

The Russian telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor said earlier that about 600 offices of foreign companies in Russia localized the storage of personal data of its Russian users, among them Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, PayPal, Booking, LG, and others.

Russia blocked the LinkedIn social network for failing to comply with the localization legislation, after the Tagansky District Court granted a relevant lawsuit from Roskomnadzor in 2016.