Maxim Ali commented on the Supreme Court’s definition of lawsuits filed by Roskomnadzor to protect the rights of personal data subjects.

Maksim Ali Senior Associate

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation published its ruling, in which it explained that the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) has the right to file a civil lawsuit in the interests of a particular citizen for the protection of his rights as a subject of personal data.

The courts of the first two instances refused to accept the claim of Roskomnadzor to the administrator of one of the Internet resources in the Far Eastern Federal District. The lawsuit was based on the distribution of personal data of the citizen on the Internet without his consent.

The citizen applied to the Roskomnadzor, and the federal services considered that the actions of the administrator of the Internet resource violate the requirements of legislation on personal data. The Roskomnadzor demanded that the defendant’s activities be recognized as illegal and violating the rights of third parties, as well as block the disputed resource.

Maxim Ali, Head of IP/IT practice at Maxima Legal commented on the situation for the Advokatskaya Gazeta newspaper, noting that Roskomnadzor was refused to accept the statement of claim primarily because of the previously stated position of the Russian Federation Supreme Court, according to which the recognition of information prohibited in accordance with the Code of Administrative Judicial Procedure.

“The courts have not noticed a subtle difference between the recognition of information prohibited for subsequent blocking of the website and restriction of access to information processed in violation of the legislation on personal data. This mistake should be blamed not so much by the courts as by the legislator, who constantly “multiplies the essence” and creates different grounds for blocking, as well as operates with a very vague definition of “prohibited information”, – indicated the expert.

According to Maxim, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, in order not to understand such a conceptual issue as the definition of “prohibited information”, approached the reasoning quite formally, referring to the mention in the Civil Procedure Code of the Russian Federation of the rules on jurisdiction of cases for the protection of personal data subjects. “Although, strictly speaking, illegally disseminated personal data can also be brought under the definition of prohibited information, as their dissemination may result in criminal or administrative liability. Discussing in this direction, we can conclude that the earlier position of the Supreme Court was not accurate enough and did not take into account the “blurred” definition of prohibited information,” he stressed.

Maxim Ali concluded that the new legal position of the Supreme Court would be extremely useful, as the courts are still contradictory in their choice between civil and administrative proceedings.

To read the full article (in Russian), please see the Advokatskaya Gazeta website >>>