The National Assembly approved Wednesday night the experimentation planned by the government of data collection on social networks to detect tax fraud, through a series of guarantees for the protection of individual freedoms.
MEPs approved at first reading Article 57 of the draft state budget for 2020 providing for this experiment for three years, within the tax administration and customs. It will be able to collect and exploit freely available data on social networks and digital platforms (eg Facebook, Le Bon Coin, Twitter, etc.).
Currently, "the car of the thief goes faster than the police car of the" fiscal, who must now "use new technologies," said the Minister of Public Accounts Gerald Darmanin. According to him, this means moving from "manual" data research, already practiced by tax auditors, to "professional" research, thanks to artificial intelligence and the use of algorithms.
Achieving a "balance" between "protection of individual freedoms and the fight against fraud
In an opinion issued in September, the National Commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL) had expressed reservations about the initial project, arguing that it was "likely to undermine the freedom of opinion and expression" concerned persons.
The minister said he was in favor of several adjustments already adopted by the deputies in committee, to better frame experimentation and achieve a "balance" between "protection of individual freedoms and the fight against fraud".
The deputies thus restricted the field of experimentation to the research of the occult activities and the fraudulent tax domiciliations. The collection of information will also be limited to content "manifestly made public" by platform users. In addition, the processing and preservation of the collected data can not be outsourced by the State.
The administration must destroy at the latest five days after their collection data collected sensitive or unrelated to the offenses sought. Other data should be analyzed at most within 30 days and destroyed if they do not appear relevant.
The CNIL will be seized of the decree necessary for the implementation of the experimentation. Finally, an interim assessment will be carried out after eighteen months.