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Government to Create Database for Residence Tracking

The Federal Migration Service has drafted a bill authorizing the creation of a single database containing information about the permanent and temporary residences of Russian citizens, a news report said Wednesday.

The document, approved by a government commission last week, will soon be presented at a cabinet meeting, Vedomosti reported.

The bill was prepared together with the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, deputy head of the State Duma security committee Alexander Khinshtein said.

The measure gives the migration service the right to maintain a database with personal data and information about the permanent residence or current location of adult Russian citizens as well as minors. Information from the database will be available to government officials as well as private individuals and organizations such as banks, the report said.

In June, the Federal Migration Service's head Konstantin Romodanovsky announced plans to create a register of valid passports, from which the FMS can sell information to various organizations. However there are no references in the bill to any commercial opportunities associated with the data base.

The Federal Migration Service has declined to comment.

Khinshtein said beside law enforcement agencies the new database should be available to organizations that work with personal documents such as judicial and tax bodies, the notariat and the courts. The new bill will comply with the law on protection of personal information, the lawmaker said.

Ilya Filatov, deputy CEO of the bank Uralsib, said the centralized database with information on people's current residences will be in great demand from banks, because the current procedure of verifying personal information is quite cumbersome.

The presidential bill that has been under consideration by the State Duma since March provides for tougher punishment for violations of registration rules. The debate has been postponed until the Duma's fall session because it was unclear which body would be responsible for its enforcement.

Several rights activists and opposition activists see the initiative as the authorities' attempt to stifle the personal rights of citizens through reviving the Soviet institute of propiska or mandatory registration of a person's place of residence.

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