French taxes are spying on you all over the internet, even on Facebook or Le Bon Coin!

News hardware French taxes are spying on you all over the internet, even on Facebook or Le Bon Coin!

Tax inspectors can legally watch absolutely any content you post on the internet. Everything that is publicly accessible, including sites like Le Bon Coin, are closely scrutinized.

The Council of State validates the monitoring on the Internet by the taxes

of July 22, the Council of State had to validate or not the continuation of the experiment which allows the taxes to follow each publication on Internet. This followed a complaint from the association La Quadrature du Net. Unfortunately, it seems the tax arguments hit home. The test, which should end at the end of 2022, has every chance of being approved and made permanent.

Although this decision comes as no surprise, this is very bad news for internet freedom. The power that tax auditors can have is very important. They have the possibility to look at all your public photos, look at the metadata and find out if you have undeclared property for example. This can go as far as looking at your vacation photos to see if you’re living above your stated means.

It is potentially mass surveillance that is taking place on the side of Bercy. The purpose of the device is to find fraudsters and scammers. Say like that, the measurement seems excellent. The problem is that this opens the door to many potential abuses.

The text provides that only the content published by the person can be used. In real life, won’t a controller use a photo posted by a friend in which you are tagged? The problem will come from the fact that public content on the Internet is not necessarily there voluntarily.

A way to find fraudsters

This openness to the collection of evidence makes it possible to track fraudsters much more effectively. During the pre-investigation phase, controllers can thus check whether a person is more or less likely to defraud. This makes it possible to reduce “unnecessary” checks which do not result in any sanction.

On the data collection aspect, Bercy cannot keep the data if it does not lead to prosecution. Nor is it possible for the authorities to collect an inordinate amount of information that would not be proportional to the potential sanctions. This is rather logical. In general, a controller is not going to spend days on a file which has little suspicion and which can only reveal “low fraud”.

We also find in article 2 the impossibility for Bercy to use a specific and anonymous account to extract information from the controlled person. The data must be collected without the need to take any particular steps. The rest of the article clarifies that comments cannot be used as evidence given the lack of verification of the person who wrote it.

Finally, one of the key points is the use of facial recognition software. It is not possible to use such a device to automate the search. The images and videos will therefore have to be collected directly by the controller.

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French taxes are spying on you all over the internet, even on Facebook or Le Bon Coin!

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