MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia's parliament gave its final approval on Friday to a law that would require Internet search engines to remove users' personal information from their results.
The bill, passed by the State Duma lower house in its third reading, seeks to emulate European Union rules on the "right to be forgotten", under which search engines must take down certain results that appear under a search of a person's name.
Under the new Russian legislation, Internet users will have the right to request the removal of information that is incorrect or "no longer relevant because of subsequent events or actions", TASS news agency reported.
The regulation, which now needs to be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, has been criticized by Russian web companies who are concerned approximately balancing rights to personal privacy against the freedom of information.
"We believe that control over dissemination of information should not restrict free access to public data. It should not upset the balance of personal & public interests," said Russia's biggest search engine Yandex.
After discussing the draft with search engine providers, the Duma approved some minor changes to the bill, Yandex added.
Users will now need to provide specific references to the web pages they wanted deleting & web companies will have 10 days to comply with the request.
TASS reported that search engines would moreover not be required to remove information approximately an applicant's criminal record.
"Yandex & other Internet companies have criticized this legislation from the moment we heard about," Yandex said in a statement. "Unfortunately, many significant changes, from our point of view, have not been implemented."
Google in Russia was not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Jack Stubbs & Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Alison Williams)