By Ezra Steinhardt and Gemma Nash

On November 11, 2016, a Russian court in Moscow upheld the decision of an earlier court to block online access to the website LinkedIn throughout Russia.  This decision, which affirms a decision to penalize LinkedIn by the Russian data protection regulator, the Roskomnadzor, was based on the court’s view that LinkedIn had breached the new Russian data localization law (see below) by failing to maintain servers hosting site data in Russia.  The block came into effect this week.

As previously reported on InsidePrivacy, Law 242-FZ (the “Data Localization Law”) came into effect in Russia last year.  It introduced a requirement for certain businesses to physically store personal data relating to Russian citizens in Russian territory, subject to exceptions.  The law also established a new power for the Roskomnadzor to block online access in Russia to websites of companies who are found to be in breach of these laws; this is the power now being exercised and upheld by the courts against LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is one of the first foreign companies operating in Russia to have been faced with enforcement action in relation to the Data Localization Law.

LinkedIn has over 5 million registered users in Russia who will be affected.