While Facebook and Twitter are being exposed to administrative charges for non-compliance with Russia’s data localization law, Apple Inc. detailed the user data it is storing in Russia, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).
Apple users in the region have data including their name, delivery address, email address and phone number stored on servers in Russia. The company said it collects that information for customer service and to send users information on new products, according to a recent filing with the Russian government. The filing does not mention more personal data such as messages, documents, photos, and contacts that are often saved on Apple’s iCloud service.
The move to store some data locally is not the first time Apple has agreed to the requests of the Russian government. Last year, Apple stopped publishing updates of the Telegram messaging service for about two months after the government asked Apple to pull the app from its App Store, according to the Telegram’s founder. Apple did not remove the app, though.
Adopted in 2014 and applicable since September 2015, the Russian data-localization law requires companies operating in the country to store Russian users’ or clients’ personal data on servers physically located in the country. Numerous foreign and domestic players were concerned, including global players who tended to store their users’ data in borderless clouds (see white paper by EWDN and EY).
While many businesses — including Alibaba, AliExpress, Apple, and Google — have managed to transfer user data from foreign data centres to Russia, others refused or failed to comply so far, as exemplified by LinkedIn. In response, Roskomnadzor, the Russian telecom and Internet regulator, blocked access to this platform in November 2016, following a series of exchanges with the company and two court decisions.