Roskomnadzor orders ‘GetContact’ to hand over users’ data to law enforcement agencies

Russia’s federal censor, Roskomnadzor (RKN), has added the caller identification app “GetContact” to one of its registries, thereby obliging it to collect and store users’ data and share it with government and law enforcement agencies at their request.

According to the digital rights group Roskomsvoboda, RKN added the app to its registry of “organizers of information dissemination” on September 1.

When joining GetContact, users are asked to allow the app access to the contact lists stored in their phones. This list is then uploaded to the company’s server.

GetContact is one of the most popular mobile apps in Russia. In 2020, it was the third most downloaded app after Telegram and TikTok.

In 2018, GetContact notified Roskomnadzor that it would comply with Russia’s law on localization and store Russian users’ data on servers located within the country. As Roskomsvoboda notes, Roskomnadzor previously advised against using GetContact, claiming that users’ data could be obtained by scammers. These warnings disappeared after the service agreed to localize Russian users’ data.

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