Finland’s data protection authority has reversed its previous decision and lifted the temporary ban on Yandex and its Dutch partner Ridetech. The ban was initially imposed following concerns that Russia’s Federal Security Service might gain access to Finnish user data processed through Yandex’s ride-hailing service, Yango.
The emergency ban, announced in August, was in response to a new Russian legislation that had raised eyebrows in Finland. However, the regulator, on Tuesday, stated that the Russian legislation does not apply to taxi services. Hence, the ban which was due to come into effect on Wednesday, will not be implemented after all.
Yango, often referred to as “Russia’s Google”, operates in 14 countries including Finland and Norway. Following the Finnish regulator’s decision, the service will continue operating in Finland “for the time being”. The decision follows after the assurance that data transfers would continue to be monitored in cooperation with Norwegian and Dutch regulators.
Yango has always maintained that it processes data in strict adherence with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and EU legislation. It also asserts that Russia has no jurisdiction over its international business. In light of this, Norway too has decided not to go ahead with a similar ban it had planned earlier.