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Russian State Firm Shames Debt Dodgers on Billboards

Russia's personal data laws are notoriously strict, but they did nothing to help debtors in western Siberia who were hung out to dry for their whole city to see on street billboards.

A power generation company in Omsk has put up warning posters about clients who have failed to pay their heating bills, the local edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported.

On Monday, the paper published a photo of one such billboard, which featured a headshot of the debtor accompanied by his full surname and initials, as well as the amount of his unpaid debt: 70,000 rubles ($1,700).

The report did not specify how many of these posters have appeared in Omsk, but the TGK-11 company was also said to be using local television stations and street bulletin boards to expose other debtors.

Some of the debtors were identified as alimony dodgers, a fact that has also been made public on the billboards, Komsomolskaya Pravda said.

The state-controlled TGK-11 made no mention of the practice on its website.

Russian legislation severely restricts the dissemination of personal information without a person's permission in most cases, but court enforcement proceedings are an exception.

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