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Privacy in Russian Federation: overview

1 December 2017

Legislation

1. What national laws (if any) regulate the right to respect for private and family life and freedom of expression?

The provisions relating to private/family life and freedom of expression can be found in the:

  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (ECHR).
  • Russian Constitution 1993 (Articles 22, 23, 24 and 29).
  • Russian Civil Code (Part I) 1994 (Articles 152, 152.1 and 152.2)
  • Federal Law No. 149-FZ on Information, Information Technologies and Data Protection 2006 (Data Protection Act).
  • Federal Law No. 152-FZ on Personal Data 2006 (Personal Data Protection Act).

The relevant provisions of the ECHR are strictly followed and enforced.

2. Who can commence proceedings to protect privacy?

Russian citizens (individuals) can commence civil proceedings in competent courts to protect and enforce privacy rights. In addition, privacy rights can be enforced by children, parents and the surviving spouses of respective individuals in the event of their death. In addition, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) can also commence certain administrative proceedings on the basis of complaints filed by injured individuals and can submit cases to the Prosecutor's Office and other law enforcement agencies to commence criminal prosecution for the breach of privacy rights.

3. What privacy rights are granted and imposed?

The following privacy and related rights are generally granted by the law:

  • Right to respect the image of an individual.
  • Right to respect the private life of an individual.
  • Right to respect the honour, dignity and business reputation of an individual.
  • Right to respect the personal data of an individual.
4. What is the jurisdictional scope of the privacy law rules?

Privacy laws do not contain any express provisions or rules regarding their jurisdictional or territorial effect. Therefore, it is generally assumed that the privacy law rules apply to the use of images, private life data, honour, dignity, business reputation and relevant personal data of Russian citizens, regardless of how, by whom and where such images or information is disseminated (including in media and on the Internet). Foreign entities or persons can also be brought to liability for breach of privacy rights.

5. What remedies are available to redress the infringement of those privacy rights?

Civil proceedings

Available civil-law remedies for individuals are usually:

  • Injunctive relief.
  • Losses (including moral damages).
  • Publication of relevant court orders.

Administrative proceedings

Warnings and administrative fines are generally available to redress the infringement of privacy rights from the administrative standpoint.

Criminal proceedings

Criminal fines, forced labour, correctional works and imprisonment (as applicable) are the typical sanctions for privacy infringements.

6. Are there any other ways in which privacy rights can be enforced?

Privacy rights will typically be enforced in the framework of a civil procedure.

In cases where the information related to the private life of an individual, which has been obtained in breach of the law, is contained in documents, video records or other media of expression, the individual has the right to claim, through the agency of the court:

  • Deletion of relevant information.
  • Prevention of the distribution of such information through seizure and destruction (with no compensation to the infringer) of all tangible media copies made for the purpose of introduction into commerce.

Other remedies (including monetary awards) are also available to redress the infringement of privacy rights.

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