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Data from platforms and social networks can be used by the tax and customs administrations

Publié le 24 février 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Crédits : © ltyuan - stock.adobe.com

Logos of social networking applications on the screen of a mobile phone

In order to strengthen the fight against tax and customs fraud, publications and photos that have been clearly made public by their users and freely accessible on online platforms and social networks can now be collected and used by the tax and customs administration. This measure, provided for in Article 154 of the Finance Law for 2020, aims to combat obscure activity and false foreigner domicile. Decree issued by Official Journal 13 february 2021 sets out the framework for this experiment planned for a period of 3 years.

The Constitutional Council and National Commission on Informatics and Freedoms (CNIL) had given their opinion on this mechanism in the 2020 finance bill.

What data is this?

The tax authorities can use open data from digital dating platforms and social networks only for the following offences: the hidden activity (not having reported a commercial activity to the tax authority) and the false tax domicile (including the false foreigner domicile).

Only content relating to the person who deliberately disclosed it and whose access does not require the entry of a password or registration on the site in question may be collected and used. Therefore, this information cannot be published privately and restricted to a certain number of authorised persons.

Where the person has a personal page on the Internet that allows for comments or any other form of interaction with other persons, such comments and messages shall not be exploited.

  FYI : The information necessary to establish an occult activity or a false domicile in the foreigner shall be kept for a thorough examination for a period of up to 1 year unless it is used in the course of criminal or tax proceedings where it will be kept for the entire duration of the proceedings. Other information shall be destroyed within 30 days of its collection.

What experimentation?

The experiment will take place in 2 stages:

  • a learning and design phase of tools for collecting and analysing publications. It will allow the development of algorithms to improve the targeting of tax controls based on the exploitation of this data. It will also identify indicators that are not personal data, such as keywords, ratios or indications of dates and locations that may characterise the breaches and infringements sought;
  • an operational phase where this data can be used. Thus, where the processing carried out will establish that there is evidence that a person may have committed one of the breaches, the data collected will be transmitted to the competent service of the tax administration or the administration of customs and indirect duties for corroboration and enrichment.

  Please note : The experiment will be the subject of a first evaluation, the results of which will be communicated to the CNIL and to the Parliament no later than 18 months before its end and a final evaluation, 6 months before its end.

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