JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen (Russia) President Putin Signs Russia's Right to be Forgotten Law #general

Jan Meisels Allen

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law in mid-July the parliament
(Duma) approved "right to be forgotten". The bill was posted on this
announcement list in late June. A later version which is the basis of the
new law were a result of opposition by the press and internet companies. The
Duma changed the bill to delete links to any information about users so that
it does not include data that is truthful and up to date. Another important
correction was the removal of the part of the bill that ordered search
engines to remove the links to information older than three years, even if
this information is correct. The new law allows citizens to demand that
search engines should stop providing hyperlinks to information on them, if
it is disseminated in violation of the Russian legislation, is irrelevant or
"has lost significance for the claimant owing to subsequent events or the
claimant's actions". The new law does not regulate information describing
criminal prosecutions on which the statute of limitations has not yet
expired and convictions that have not been served or removed. Also excluded
from the new law, are information systems that conduct the search for the
state and municipal work and services as well as web services created for
executing other tasks for the society's benefit under the existing federal
laws. Google and Yandex (the largest search engine in Russia) will be the
two most affected websites.

As reported in TASS, ( the Kremlin's news
agency quoted the State Duma Committee for Information Policy Chairman,
stating the final version of the law excluded the notion of "authenticity"
so as not to delete information older than three years. Instead of this, the
law includes the term "irrelevance" to come closer to EU regulation and
allow "deleting hyperlinks to inaccurate, inadequate and incomplete
information". After considering a citizen's claim and arguments, an
Internet search engine may decide either on deleting hyperlinks or rejecting
this demand. A user's claim has 10 working days for consideration by a
search engine organization as well as 10 days for the company to correct
incorrect information. If the search engine declines the request, the
requestor may take the search engine to court. Search engines may not
disclose information on citizens' requests filed to them It is unclear what
criteria will be used to evaluate the correctness and relevance of the
disputed information.

Penalties for non-compliance are not included in the new law, but the Duma
is considering imposing financial penalties in another piece of legislation.

The law becomes effective January 1, 2016.

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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