Russia will block access to LinkedIn over data protection issues

The professional social network LinkedIn will soon be blocked in Russia as a result of the company failing to comply with the country's data protection rules.

The professional social network LinkedIn will soon be blocked in Russia due to the fact that the company has failed to comply with the country's data protection laws.

The Tagansky District Court had previously ruled on 10 November that the company was in violation of its data protection laws. LinkedIn did try to appeal the ruling though it was unsuccessful in doing so and now it appears that its 6 million registered users will no longer be able to access the site.

In 2014, local Russian law makers passed new rules aimed at protecting the personal data of their citizens by requiring companies to store any data they collected within the country. Any companies that violate the terms of these new laws could end up on the black list of Russia's telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor which also has the ability to block and fine websites.

So far, the watchdog has audited around 1,500 companies since the laws came into effect in 2015. Roskomnadzor targeted LinkedIn specifically for its failure to comply with Russia's new data protection laws. A spokesperson for Roskomnadzor, Vadim Ampelonskiy, said: “The access will be shut within days. LinkedIn failed to provide documents on moving personal databases to Russia. The Russian court's decision has the potential to deny access to LinkedIn for the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses.”

Anoek Eckhardt, a spokesperson for LinkedIn, responded to the news that the company's site would soon be blocked in Russia, saying: “We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localisation request.”

While LinkedIn did not take the necessary measures to move its personal data storage to Russia, Google, Uber, Ebay, Booking.com and a number of other large companies have done so to avoid falling into the same situation as the professional social network. 

Image Credit: IB Photography / Shutterstock

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