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Apple Caves To Data Localization Demands, Rents Out Space in Russian Data Center

Russian media report Apple has decided to comply with the data localization law. Images mixed by Tetyana Lokot.

Russian media report Apple has decided to comply with the data localization law. Images mixed by Tetyana Lokot.

Apple has decided to comply with the Russian data localization law and is renting out storage space at a data center belonging to IXcellerate on Russian soil, according to a report in Russian business daily Kommersant.

Kommersant's sources suggest Apple held a tender for data storage services back in July, and chose IXcellerate to store its Russian users’ data. One of Kommersant's sources pointed out that signing an agreement with IXcellerate was “not just a formal compliance with the law on personal data,” but “a serious deal.” Both IXcellerate and Apple refused to comment when contacted by Kommersant.

IXcellerate's data center services are also used by travel and hotel website Booking.com, which plans to store passport and credit card data for Russian users who use the website to book hotels and flights.

Both Booking.com and Apple are popular in the RuNet: according to ComScore data, in July 2015 Booking.com had over 4 million visits from Russia, while Apple's online services had almost 3 million unique visits from Russian users.

The data localization law, which mandates that Internet companies store Russian users’ personal data on servers based in Russia, came into force on September 1, 2015. Internet services that do not comply with the law will be added to a registry of violators and could be blocked at the behest of Russia's Internet watchdog, Roscomnadzor.

In August 2014, Apple also began storing some Chinese users’ personal data on servers in mainland China, under the pretext of improving “the speed and reliability” of its iCloud service for users in China.

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