The government wants to comb through social media to fight fraud

The government wants to comb through social media to fight fraud

PARIS (Reuters) – the French government aims to ensure that the authorities have the power to trawl social media for signs of tax evasion or fraud, in accordance with a provision in the budget, the 2020 bill, which will be discussed in the parliament.

The move would be a significant improvement in the status of the monitoring equipment is online, by means of the collection of masses of publicly available data, the concerns of the country and the protection of personal data and on the various special-interest groups.

Below is an article from the draft law, which has been reviewed and approved by the National Assembly’s finance committee late on Wednesday, the customs and the tax authorities would be allowed to carry out a three-year “experiment” in the monitoring data.

They were able to assess the user’s social media profiles, pictures and posts, as well as the use of computer algorithms to detect signs of fraud, smuggling or undeclared income.

“If you say that you are not a resident for tax purposes in France, and you love posting pictures on Instagram of France, there might be a problem,” the Minister of the Budget, Gerald Darmanin, said in an interview with the newspaper Le Figaro.

The chairman of Emmanuel Macron held a majority of seats in the house of representatives, which is expected to pass the provision, and the remainder of the bill prior to the end of the year. With the approval of the house committee on finance, to increase the likelihood that it will be approved.


“An experiment without goals, it is a joke,” said Arthur Messaud, a legal expert for the French internet freedom advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. “We have to put the cat among the pigeons by allowing the general to control the access to the Internet for anything and everything.”

The French data watchdog CNIL, which is well-known in Europe, and as a staunch defender of privacy rights, it is also reflected in a statement of the risks involved, the policy should provide for the individual rights and freedoms, although it is recognised that the government’s objectives were legitimate.

Asked about the measure after a weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Darmanin told Reuters: “I would like to point out that there is nothing special here, other countries are already doing it, such as the United States and Britain in 2010, for example.”

In an interview with Le Figaro, Darmanin said in an artificial intelligence that can be used to combat fraud. He told me that it would have to be approved by the CNIL and is the country’s highest administrative court.

– Additional reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Peter Graff

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