Media reports that a state agency calms Twitter has agreed to store the personal data of Russian nationals on servers located within Russia, in order to comply with a data security law. Russian state communications oversight agency told local media how Twitter sent a letter stating its ‘readiness to localise databases on the territory of Russia by the middle of 2018’. Andrei Soldatov, author of a book about Moscow’s digital surveillance, stated: ‘The last thing they need now is to be seen cooperating with the Russian secret services, and the Russian data localisation law is exactly that’. Twitter has declined to comment on the report. As a reminder, Linkedin, U.S. social media network, was banned in Russia under the law in 2016.
Privacy and data protection are two interrelated Internet governance issues. Data protection is a legal mechanism that ensures privacy. Privacy is usually defined as the right of any citizen to control their own personal information and to decide about it (to disclose information or not). Privacy is a fundamental human right. It is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in many other international and regional human rights conventions. The July 2015 appointment of the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age reflects the rising importance of privacy in global digital policy, and the recognition of the need to address privacy rights issues the the global, as well as national levels.