New East Digital Archive

Russian lawmakers approve controversial internet privacy bill

Russian lawmakers approve controversial internet privacy bill
Yandex headquarters in Moscow

6 July 2015

The Russian parliament has passed a bill that would allow users to force internet search engines to remove their personal information from search results.

Under the new law, an individual can request the removal of links to personal information that is incorrect or out of date.

The regulation is similar to but broader in scope than the EU’s “right to be forgotten” initiative, extending the right of removal to public figures and information considered to be in the public interest.

The bill, which now needs to be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, has sparked fears that information critical of the authorities could be removed, should the authorities in question request it, and has been criticised by Russia’s most popular search engine, Yandex. “Our point has always been that a search engine cannot take on the role of a regulatory body,” said a spokesperson for the company. “[…]We believe that information control should not limit access to information that serves the public interest.”