Google and Facebook will pay US almost half a billion dollars for violations in political advertising

Court of the state of Washington ordered the company Google and Facebook to pay 455 thousand dollars for violation of rules of storage of data about customers of political advertising. Russian Roskomnadzor has promised not to block the company.

Google will pay 217 thousand dollars, and Facebook – 238 thousand dollars in response to two lawsuits filed in June. Companies are accused of violating the law on transparency in political ads, reports AP 18 Dec, citing a state attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Lawsuits were filed to companies after they refused to provide information about political advertising in the municipal elections of 2017 at the request of the newspaper the Stranger. Representatives of Google and Facebook said then that it did not conduct the corresponding entries, so I can’t provide the data required by the state Commission on information disclosure.

Moreover, these requirements are applicable since 1972, according to a statement from Ferguson, posted on the website of the Prosecutor General of the state of Washington. “If you were a newspaper in a small city or a large Corporation, the laws of Washington disclosure on political advertising apply to all”, – said the state attorney General.

The press Secretary Facebook Beth Gauthier said that the company is satisfied with the decision of the court. “We work hard to protect the integrity of the election and prevent foreign intervention,” he said. According to him, over the last 10 years in Washington state candidates for elections at different levels and political committees for placing of propaganda materials on the Internet paid Google $ 1.5 million, and Facebook – $ 5.1 million. While none of the companies had not provided the legally required information about who received the funds.

Google stated that the company complied with the laws of Washington until June, when the state introduced new requirements for disclosure of information. After that, Google announced the suspension of placing electoral advertising in the state, as could not follow the new rules. “This year we have launched several features to ensure transparency in Federal elections in the United States and we are looking for ways to bring these tools to the state level,” – said in a statement.

The troops will replace a block of Google and Facebook with big fines

Roscomnadzor will not block Facebook and Google, instead, to compel compliance with the laws of the Russian Federation service I would like to use the largest of the fines, reports TASS with reference to the head of Department Alexander Zharov. “The agenda of the issue of blocking Facebook is not, on the agenda the issue that Facebook began to observe the full Russian law, and we will achieve it”, – he said, noting that this also applies to Google.

According to Zharova, in Russia in the near future there will be legislation that will penalize the company in the amount of a certain percentage of its turnover for the fulfillment of the Russian legislation. “I very much hope that there will be amendments that will allow them to fine. I just think the more priority the issue of penalties, including current fines (a percentage of the company’s turnover in the country. – Approx., the more that Google, Facebook and company do some active activities on the territory of the Russian Federation”, – said the head of Roskomnadzor.

Zharov believes that the companies “have something to risk”, as their ad revenue is measured in billions of rubles. “About locking the question. Better to let live and respect the laws, why lock your” – he stressed.

11 Dec Roskomnadzor has fined the company Google for 500 thousand rubles for non-adherence to the Federal state information system (FGIS) for information on blocked sites.

According to the legislation of the Russian Federation, the operators of search engines are obliged to exclude from search results links to resources with illegal information. To do this, they must connect to the FGIS containing the list of banned Internet resources.

On 12 December, the Deputy head of Roskomnadzor Vadim Subbotin said about possible blocking Google. “The current law now does not lock, it assumes an administrative fine. But you understand that if we go to impasse, at the legislative level we have all opportunities in order to settle this question”, – said the representative office.

He said that Roskomnadzor will be re-tested against Google for the execution of the Russian legislation and in case of detection of a violation will expose the company to a maximum fine of 700 thousand rubles.