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The Russia Studies Program
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The Artificial Intelligence in Russia newsletter features a summary of recent Russian-language reports on the Russian AI and autonomy ecosystem, divided into the following sections:

  • Governance and Legal Developments
  • Military and Security Developments
  • Corporate and Market Developments
  • Education and Training Developments
  • International Collaboration
  • Spotlight: Variational Autoencoders, Algorithms, and Drones
  • In Brief: AI Alliance Unveils Website with AI Cases

The following preview shows the first item in this issue:

1. Personal data bill introduced in State Duma

On November 17, a bill that enables citizens to remove their personal data from the public realm was introduced in the State Duma. According to Anton Gorelkin, the Duma deputy who authored the document, if the bill were to pass, each site where a citizen registers would have to ask what data the user wants to make publicly available and transferrable to third parties. If the site violates the terms of its agreement with an individual, it would incur a fine.

Gorelkin cited the example of a Russian company working in the field of facial recognition, which used the VKontakte database to train its neural networks for several years. They ultimately collected millions of user photos from the social media site. The bill introduced in the Duma would make this kind of practice illegal, as third parties would not have the right to collect, buy, or receive information about users if those users did not agree to make their information publicly available.

Today, the burden of proving unlawful use of personal data is on the citizen alleging wrongful use of their data. Under the new law, each individual would have the right to require an operator to remove the personal data from public access without any additional stipulations and without proving that the public data had been illegally processed. Under the bill, site operators must provide users with an opportunity to give or deny consent for all categories of data in the agreement. Users may give consent directly to the operator or to the Roskomnadzor information system. The operator is not allowed to obtain consent for processing publicly available data by default or through a user’s inaction. However, the bill does contain an exception that these rules do not apply if an operator needs to fulfill functions or duties imposed by the Russian government.

As discussed in past issues of AI in Russia, the use of personal data remains a matter of concern for ordinary Russians.

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DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release: distribution unlimited. 12/4/2020


  • Pages: 28
  • Document Number: DOP-2020-U-028735-Final
  • Publication Date: 12/4/2020
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