MOSCOW, July 9 (RAPSI) – On Wednesday, the Federation Council approved a law binding foreign online companies that sell plane tickets and consumer goods in Russia, as well as social networking sites, to store Russians’ personal data in Russia.

The bill was drafted to amend the laws On Personal Data and On Information, Information Technology and Protection of Information.

Operators will be obliged to store Russians’ personal data, including those collected online, at Russian databases. Foreign companies, including Twitter, Facebook and, will therefore have to open offices in Russia.

Experts say the law will also be binding on Russian companies such as Aeroflot, because Russian air carriers use a foreign booking system.

Relying on court decisions, the Russian telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor will be able to restrict access to information that was processed in violation of the Russian law on personal data. Violators of the rights of personal data owners will be entered in a special register.

Online companies will have enough time to open data storage centers in Russia, because the bill -- if the president signs it into law -- will take effect in two years, on September 1, 2016.