Privacy Advisor

FRANCE—A Tax on Personal Data?

February 1, 2013

By Pascale Gelly, CIPP/E

The French government has launched this summer a reflexion on taxation of the digital economy. The report of the Colin & Collin mission is soon due. Personal data is likely to be considered as a triggering taxation factor because of their economic value, and rumours are growing.

According to the newspaper Le Monde, the advertising-generated revenues would be of particular interest.

Another project would be a tax on data collection per Internet user, to be adjusted depending on compliance with fair practices. As a consequence, those companies that resell data without user information would be more severely taxed. Others would call it a sanction.

The Ministry of Innovation and Digital Economy is keen to see data portability moving forward. It is not surprising, then, to hear that another project which may arise from the Colin & Collin mission would be a tax on data portability, which would grow depending on how difficult it is for the user to retrieve his or her data.

The Colin & Collin report is expected any time soon and should be followed by a draft bill.

Pascale Gelly, CIPP/E, of the French law firm Cabinet Gelly, can be reached at pg@pascalegelly.com.