Google Faces Over One Crore Penalty in Russia: In recent developments, Google has encountered a hefty penalty of 1.5 million rubles (approximately 1.36 crore INR) imposed by a Russian court. The penalty stems from Google’s alleged failure to comply with requests to store user data within the country and refrain from sending it abroad, resulting in a violation of national security concerns.
The Changing Landscape of Search Engines in Russia
The Bank of America, in its market share report, revealed a decline in Google’s ownership to 91.6% in October, indicating a significant decrease. Similarly, Bing’s share also experienced a reduction, settling at 3.1%. However, it’s noteworthy that the use of Russia’s own search engine, Yandex, has seen a surge.
Legal Action Against Google for Data Storage Practices
This Tuesday, a Moscow court imposed a substantial penalty on Google, emphasizing the importance of storing user data within the country. Despite Google asserting that this is a matter of user policy, the court ruled that storing data abroad poses a national security threat.
Google’s Ongoing Struggles in Russia
It’s important to mention that Google’s Russian unit applied for bankruptcy in 2022, complicating the collection of penalties. The Russian government had seized its bank accounts, citing an inability to pay salaries to its staff. The ban on Facebook and Instagram, earlier imposed due to content related to the Ukraine conflict, was extended to Google and YouTube. This move was prompted by allegations of spreading propaganda related to the war.
Russia’s Strict Measures Against Tech Companies
Russia has consistently taken a tough stance against foreign tech companies, attributing it to content censorship, data protection, local representation, and the Ukrainian conflict. Google has faced fines not only for its actions in 2022 but also in August 2021 and June 2022, pertaining to misinformation about the Ukraine-Russia war.
Last week, the Bank of America’s report highlighted a decrease in Google’s market share to 91.6%, with Bing also experiencing a reduction to 3.1%. Interestingly, the use of Yandex, Russia’s search engine, has increased, possibly due to growing concerns about AI-based platforms.
In conclusion, Google’s legal battles in Russia showcase the increasing importance of adhering to local regulations, especially concerning data storage and user privacy. The evolving dynamics of the search engine market in Russia further emphasize the need for tech companies to navigate the legal landscape carefully.