A Russian court has upheld a ban on LinkedIn for failing to comply with a new data storage law. It is the first major online networking portal to be impacted by the legislation, as between 2014 and now these measures were sporadically enforced. Russia is not the only country to make this request of foreign technology companies, however, though the fight will probably be more contentious due to these companies?EU? concerns about how the Russian authorities will access that data in the name of national security.
The career building site has under 6 million users in Russia. It is likely that since it did not meet the deadline and its shutdown will have less of an impact on Russian?EU?s internet economy than, say, cutting off Facebook and Google, an example is being set to encourage Western companies to adhere to the new law.
Compliance means losing out on a major market. Facebook and Google?EU?s main competitors, vKontakte, Yandex, Livejournal, and Mail.ru, which includes the fast-growing Odnoklassniki social network, already follow these requirements as they are Russian companies.
Failure to comply would lead to blocking access, and drive users over to these domestic platforms. This would be especially damaging for Facebook as, after years of pushing into the country, it is now ranked third for monthly users, after vKontakte and Odnoklassniki, and has carved out for itself a niche in business communications.
Some big Western companies like Apple, Uber, and eBay are taking steps to meet the requirement to avoid losing out on access,. Others, like Spotify, have pulled out of deals to avoid compliance.
It is unclear if the policy will change once Microsoft completes its acquisition of LinkedIn. Unlike LinkedIn, which at present is fighting the move, Microsoft has made exceptions in Europe. Microsoft already stores German user data on servers in Germany owned…