Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

Your article “Yandex triggers security concerns by sending app data home to Russia” (Report, March 30) raises a number of important points around data collection and storage, and user privacy. However, I would like to more fully reflect Yandex’s position.

AppMetrica is a mobile app analytics solution that helps developers improve the in-app experience. It operates in the same way as international peers such as Google Firebase, Flurry by Yahoo, Adjust and AppsFlyer. In short, AppMetrica is a tool that app developers deliberately use for its core analytical functionality.

AppMetrica does not collect any data on its own – we can only receive the information the app developer shares with the tool to be automatically analyzed and compiled into a report.

The app also needs to receive user consent required by the operating system, since there is no technical possibility for us to obtain it ourselves.

Data received by AppMetrica from app developers is non-personalized and very limited. This data – which are things like information about the device, network and IP address – are of high value only to app developers. AppMetrica reports also show information on in-app user behavior, which is crucial for improving the user experience.

Yandex’s approach to data security and privacy is in line with other major technology companies around the world. We operate in full compliance with international regulations such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and local legislation. Data received from app developers is stored in a distributed storage platform in Finland and Russia, as clearly stated in our privacy policy. The idea that we “secretly” send this data to Russia is simply wrong.

Our principles for data privacy and security are equally rigorous. We take any government request for access to information extremely seriously and follow the same principles whether it’s coming from the Russian government, or international bodies such as Interpol.

We are fully transparent about all data requests we satisfy and publish a detailed report about this on a regular basis. We have never given out any information on users of any apps with AppMetrica installed on them, nor have we ever been asked to.

Rogier Rijnja
Board Member, Yandex
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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