Why in Russia there is no bank secrecy

    Quite a lot has been said recently about regular leaks of personal data in Russia. Unfortunately, the picture turns out to be rather sad: we have already managed to get used to idle legislation in this area, to sales of bases, to “breaking through” and to the black market. Accustomed to the lack of punishment for those who are engaged in such illegal things.

    But what if in free access it turns out not an extract about you from the databases of Passport and IBD-R, but all your accounts, cards and transaction history? You must admit that the topic of personal finance is always in the special intimate sphere of each person.



    A foe may know your name, address and telephone number, brand and number of your car, but when he finds out how much you spent yesterday at the supermarket and how much was set aside for a piggy bank contribution to make a birthday present, you will agree, the story is completely different.

    Why does this happen, and what makes it reasonably argued that in Russia there is actually no bank secrecy per se?

    In my last article about the situation with the market for illegal trade in personal data, I only mentioned the flagrant cases of violation of bank secrecy laws. I did not mention the names of the banks that were at fault, although in the comments readers quickly identified familiar company colors (by the way, those ads are still hanging, and the topics are replenished with positive reviews).

    Some have reproached me for inappropriate self-censorship. I’ll clarify that I’m smearing the names of banks because most of them have their own blogs on Habré. They bring Habra profits and have influence, but I don’t yet. So let's take advantage of the existing borders of democracy and we will assume that all coincidences are random.







    I can not ignore another coincidental coincidence: last year, one well-known bank began pursuing two bloggers for "damage to business reputation." And whoever doubts, the service of “breaking through” on it, of course, is also widely represented on the black market.

    To be fair, I’ll clarify that the entire Russian banking TOP appeared on the black market. In fact, the smaller the bank, the greater the likelihood that there will be no break-through services.

    I can not say that banks with leaks do not fight and do not calculate employees who are engaged in such things. Historically, each bank develops its own information protection strategy and develops internal security services.

    However, here, as always, the state has become aware of its desire to look into the pocket of their beloved residents. Today, external APIs are being introduced, thanks to which Russia's government departments are able to extract information about the accounts of individuals and legal entities (legal entities have long been received), which leads to the appearance of a bottomless hole, as if created for all categories of criminals and fraudsters. And the banking "business reputation" was crying along with all the billions in security investments over the past years.

    No security services of banks will not help if the cunning employees of government departments have access to information about the accounts by one click. The decency of these people causes obvious doubts for many reasons, but perhaps the most revealing is the picture of how they, without hesitating, sell access to their own departmental bases.





    The sun of this bright future has not yet fully risen. Integrated breakdown services for banks are quite rare and at a cost significantly higher than average market prices. However, the picture of tomorrow is already clearly visible.





    I can not miss another significant event of the last three years. After all, they organized a huge field for fraudulent actions, when departments had the functionality to install locks on any account of a natural or legal person. Previously, this was possible only by fake paper letters (for example, from the FSSP, which, you see, is much more difficult to implement). And the directives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation finally finished off the situation, when already the banks themselves began to find formal reasons for blocking with pleasure. Guess what happened right away?



    Imagine the situation yourself: you have a business in Russia and there are competitors who are not ashamed of any methods to force you out of the market. All of your income and expenses, they already know to the penny. Now they just order the account blocking service, and the bang - trigger in the database has changed from false to true, there is no going back. Having run a couple of months between the bank, the tax, and possibly the court, you still seek to restore the work of accounts. Has it become easier for you if your business actually went bankrupt by then?



    The picture is depressing. When problems are of a systemic nature, one involuntarily has to think about the viciousness of the entire system. From which side you don’t look, being honest in such an environment is immeasurably more difficult and less beneficial than skillfully playing according to its unspoken rules and concepts, forgetting about the conscience and other qualities that turned out to be “unnecessary”. Especially it looks cool against the background of endless conversations about a special way, high morals, strong braces and great spirituality.



    But this is about banal professionalism. If in the commercial banking sphere, the faulty employee is likely to be dismissed and will not be able to find work in the same position, then, unfortunately, there are no ethical guidelines for government officials. Banks on their background somehow care about reputation in the eyes of customers.

    In the field of government agencies, even employees who have been drafted by the discharge of data, will most likely avoid punishment and retain their posts. Although this is a completely different story and a problem (without the solution of which, however, no positive changes will definitely occur in the country). And who said that they would look for those employees in general?

    Why, when fintech, which is one of the best in the world (without exaggeration! Russian fintech - perhaps even the best), such monstrous things happen? I can not find an answer to this question, because of the scale of disgraces, perhaps, the world has hardly seen. And the size of the holes in the whole department, and put on the flow of services "break through" online. And all this against the backdrop of ostentatious adoption of new and new laws on the protection of personal data, which only small businesses add a headache, because this is another reason to tear a couple of fines for the formal reason of the “incorrect form of consent form for PD processing” level.

    I guess that some readers will be indignant: again you are bad about Russia, because in all countries of the world a system of vigilant control over financial flows is being formed, and in the USA and Western Europe it has been formed before anyone else.

    Yes it is. Any state strives for its own economic security. In all states, there have been leaks, small-town corruption, and cases in which employees leaked information for “gratitude”.

    The difference is fundamental. First, in all countries of the first world for such plums - a real prison, and not “let's not take out the dirty linen in public”. And secondly, the moral aspect is most important here, in my opinion.

    If in the state you feel comfortable and you realize that you can live with dignity, being just an honest hardworking person, then in general you are not subconsciously against the presence of regulatory agencies. It’s a paradox, but in such states both the ethical and professional level of departmental employees is incomparably higher: they do their work so that everyone can live comfortably. The beneficiary of their work becomes you yourself.

    If everything is the other way around, then the control mechanisms multiplied by the hellish corruption, which are served by non-professional employees who have fallen into the work according to the established negative selection schemes, cause quite different feelings. The rhetorical question remains: who becomes the beneficiary of their work?

    Own conclusions, as always, I suggest to make to readers.

    Article for Habr prepared by Chris The Rebel (Vladimir Adoshev)

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