A report on taxation and the digital economy, commissioned by the French government, should be published in France during January. Although its recommendations are not yet known, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro reported on December 22 that it may recommend that personal data collection be taxed in France. If implemented, such measures would lead to Google, Facebook, or Twitter having to pay a tax on the use of information collected on the Internet in France. According to Le Figaro, this measure would also affect banks, online retailers, and generally, companies collecting customer information.
The article quotes a French tax official, speaking anonymously, which reveals that this new tax would also be used to encourage better data collection practices, as companies selling personal data without informing their users may be taxed more heavily. This could become a strong incentive for companies collecting personal data in France to respect France’s data protection laws, which eventually will include the new European Union Regulation, when it will finally be implemented, probably in 2014.