Tinder, Twitch fined in Russia for refusing to localize data

A court in Moscow has slapped Match Group, which operates Tinder, and Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, with fines over “repeatedly refusing” to localize Russian users’ data.

In two separate rulings on Monday (September 4th), the Tagansky District Court in the Russian capital fined Match Group 10 million roubles ($103,100) and Twitch 13 million roubles ($134,000).

Both companies were accused of violating Part 9 of Article 13.11 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offense, which requires local and foreign companies to store personal data of Russian nationals on Russian soil.

The law targets even those companies that don't have a physical presence in Russia but whose activities are still thought to be aimed at the Russian territory.

Cybernews has contacted both Match Group and Twitch for comment.

Match Group and Twitch were both fined by the same court for refusing to localize Russian users data last year as well, receiving penalties of 2 million roubles ($20,600) each.

Match Group, which also owns dating apps Hinge and PlentyOfFish, left the Russian market on June 30th, citing human rights concerns.

It took the company more than a year after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine to withdraw, in contrast to Tinder rival Bumble, which left immediately after in March 2022.

Amazon also stopped shipping products and cut off its Prime video service to Russian customers in March last year.

In accordance with US and EU sanctions against Russia, Twitch started blocking transactions to Russia-based streamers that same month and has taken steps to remove pro-Russian content since then.

The live-streaming platform has been repeatedly fined by Russian courts for spreading what Moscow considers “fake news” about its war in Ukraine – most recently in August, when it was slapped a 3 million rouble ($31,785) fine.

In August, a Russian court also fined Reddit and Wikipedia for refusing to delete “banned content” about the war in Ukraine.

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