Russian watchdog to consider inspecting Twitter

The Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications, Roskomnadzor, will consider the request of the Prosecutor General's Office to inspect the Twitter social network regarding the protection of users' personal data.

The Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications, Roskomnadzor, will consider the request of the Prosecutor General's Office to inspect the Twitter social network regarding the protection of users' personal data.

"We have received a letter from the Prosecutor General's Office regarding the appeal made by Senator Ruslan Gattarov asking us to inspect Twitter with regard to the protection of citizens' personal data," Roskomnadzor spokesman Vladimir Pikov told Interfax on Thursday.

The letter is currently with the watchdog's heads, it will be considered and a relevant decision will be returned, Pikov said.

It has emerged earlier that Gattarov, the Russian Federation Council information policy committee head, has appealed to the Prosecutor General's Office and the Council of Europe consultative committee on personal data protection asking that they inspect Twitter activity to ensure the protection of personal information.

"I am asking to you check the user agreement of Twitter regarding compliance with the law and take relevant measures if instances of non-compliance with existing legal regulations protecting the personal information of Russian citizens are confirmed," Gattarov said in his appeal to Roskomnadzor and Prosecutor General's Office obtained by Interfax.

Twitter's user agreement does not contradict the regulations of the Council of Europe convention ratified by Russia, the senator said. "The exact purpose of personal data collection are not stipulated in the confidentiality policy and wording allows any actions with users' information. Besides, Twitter does not stipulate in its agreements the user's right to request the complete deletion of his or her information," Gattarov said in his appeal.

Twitter, whose services are available for Russian Internet users, does not have an office in Russia and the company is registered in the United States, Gattarov said.

The confidentiality policy "has not been translated into Russian, which violates the right of Russian-speaking users to receive information regarding processing their personal data in the framework of Twitter's services and can be regarded as concealing information of public importance," the senator's appeal said.

Twitter is the second company after Google regarding which Gattarov is asking that the Prosecutor General's Office and Roskomnadzor to check the transfer of personal data of Russian citizens to third parties. This issue has come to the fore after former employee of the U.S. special services Edward Snowden released information that the U.S. special services have unsanctioned access to the personal data of people around the world.

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