MOSCOW, March 11 (RAPSI) – Internet Ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev has proposed that Russians’ personal data be stored abroad with the owners’ permission, Izvestia newspaper writes on Wednesday.

The ombudsman has sent a letter with this proposal to President Vladimir Putin.

In July 2014, Putin signed a law requiring foreign online companies that sell plane tickets and consumer goods in Russia, as well as social networking sites, to store Russians’ personal data only in Russia. The law will take effect on September 1.

US-based companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter have millions of users in Russia but generally store data on servers outside the country.

 Marinichev has proposed allowing foreign online companies to store Russians’ personal data in a country that is a signatory to the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, according to Izvestia.

A total of 46 countries have ratified the convention, including Russia, the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, as well as post-Soviet countries including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine.

“We don’t want to lose global online services, which will be unable to operate in Russia unless the law is amended. I suggest that amendments be discussed with the expert community,” Marinichev said, as quoted by Izvestia.

Marinichev was appointed as Russia’s first Internet ombudsman in July 2014 to liaise between the government and Internet companies.