Russian Big Data business wants to create legal market for ‘depersonalized data’

31 January 2019

The Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF, FRII in Russian) is lobbying Russian lawmakers to adjust the legal definition of personal data, introduce the concept of “depersonalized data” and allow citizens to sell their own “depersonalized data” on the market.

According to the fund, which has prepared draft amendments to the existing legislation, individuals could earn as much as 60,000 rubles (approximately $900 at the current exchange rate) a year by providing this information to different companies.

Such a legislation would help reduce illegal trade of personal data, the IIDF argues.

Several industry experts told business daily Kommersant, however, that the draft law grossly exaggerates the amount of money people should expect to earn from selling their personal information. Such amendments are designed to benefit Russia’s Big Data business, including banks, telecos and big online services.

There is also serious disagreement about the concept of “depersonalized data” and whether it could actually protect confidentiality.

The current Russian personal data legislation is based on a law adopted in 2006 – one year after Russia ratified the Council of Europe’s 1981 Strasbourg Convention on the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data. Severe restrictions and challenging requirements were brought by amendments adopted in 2011 and in 2014.

Launched in 2013 following a presidential initiative, the IIDF is the largest startup investment fund in Russia.

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