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Privacy in the Russian federation: overview

August 6, 2018

A Q&A guide to privacy in the Russian Federation.

The Q&A guide gives a high-level overview of privacy rules and principles, including what national laws regulate the right to respect for private and family life and freedom of expression; to whom the rules apply and what privacy rights are granted and imposed. It also covers the jurisdictional scope of the privacy law rules and the remedies available to redress infringement.

To compare answers across multiple jurisdictions, visit the Privacy Country Q&A tool.

This article is part of the global guide to data protection. For a full list of contents, please visit


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 and 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 the competent courts to protect and enforce their privacy rights. Privacy rights can be enforced by children, parents and the surviving spouses of 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.

Privacy infringement cases, including criminal ones, can also be submitted to the Prosecutor's Offices or other law enforcement agencies (such as the Police).

3. What privacy rights are granted and imposed?

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

- Right to protect image.

- Right to respect for private life.

- Right to protect honour, dignity and business reputation.

- Right to protect personal data.

- Right to preserve confidentiality of communications.

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, communications, private life data, honour, dignity, business reputation, and relevant personal data of Russian citizens, regardless of how, by whom and where such images, communications or information are 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.

- Compensation for losses (including moral damages).

- Publication of relevant court order.

Administrative proceedings

Warnings and administrative fines are generally available to redress infringements of privacy rights (for example, in relation to personal data).

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 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, the individual has the right to claim, through the agency of the court:

- Deletion of the 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 infringements of privacy rights (for example, in relation to private life data).

Practical Law Country Q&A by Thomson Reuters

Sergey Medvedev

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