MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) – A delegation of tech giant Google will arrive in Russia in mid-September to discuss the data protection of Gmail users in Russia, a Russian lawmaker said on Sunday.
“In mid-September we expect the delegation representatives from the United States,” Senator Ruslan Gattarov, who chairs the commission on the information society development in the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, said.
In his letter to the head of Google Russia, Gattarov said that Google’s official position on the issue, according to media reports, is that it “reserves the right to get access to correspondence of Gmail users and to use these data,” adding that this violates Russia’s personal data protection legislation and the constitution.
“The text of this document says in fact that a user has no any reasonable grounds to think that information that he gives via third hands will remain confidential and such an unauthorized access to the correspondence of our citizens directly violates the Russian Constitution,” Gattarov said.
At the meeting, the US delegates and members of the Federation Council’s working group investigating alleged Russian user-data leaks will also discuss mechanisms of Gmail filters, the usage of information for contextual advertising and blocking spam emails.
In July, Gattarov sent a request to the Prosecutor General’s Office and the state communications watchdog to verify how well Google’s user agreements complied with personal data protection legislation.
Gattarov’s request came at a time of global public concern about Internet companies sharing user data with US government agencies, after former CIA technician Edward Snowden leaked details in June of the Prism data collection program, which allegedly monitored Americans' phone and electronic correspondence, and which he claimed gave the US security services direct access to the servers of major Internet companies.
The senator earlier called for an international inquiry into reports that companies including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter provide the US special services with direct access to their user data.
Russia is the largest Internet market in Europe, The Next Web reported in April.