‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Law to Come Into Force in Russia on January 1

‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Law to Come Into Force in Russia on January 1 © AFP 2015/ Philippe Huguen

00:51 01.01.2016(updated 01:22 01.01.2016) Get short URL

The “right to be forgotten” law obliging search engines to delete links with inaccurate information at citizens’ request takes effect in Russia staring from January 1.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — As of Friday, Russian citizens have a right to demand search engines to delete links containing information about them in case it is deemed to be inaccurate, irrelevant or distributed illegally. The law exempts information on criminal actions for which the time limits for charges have not expired, as well as on crime records which have not been suppressed or struck off.

Search engines reserve the right to request proof of identity of those requesting “to be forgotten.” All requests must be dealt with within ten working days.

Late December, the Russian State Duma approved a bill on fines for search engines found to be breaching the law. The bill was signed by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Individual fines will range from 30-50 thousand rubles ($410-680) for an initial failure to respond to a request to 300-500 thousand rubles for a second time failure. Entities will be fined at a higher rate, ranging from 80-100 thousand rubles and 800 thousand — 1 million rubles respectively.

The “right to be forgotten” law passed through the State Duma after its third hearing early July. The upper house approved the bill unanimously a few days later. Amendments proposed by internet industry representatives have been partially included in the law; however, the amendment on relieving search engines from taking decisions on the legality of citizens’ request was not included.

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