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France Proposes Consideration of Tax On Data Taken Out of EU

timothy posted about a year ago | from the arrogance-of-power dept.

Government 103

An anonymous reader writes "France has proposed the European Union study taxing companies for transferring personal data outside of the bloc ... The proposal is part of a series France has made ahead of an EU summit next month ... Both transfers of data inside companies, such as sending information on employees from a European subsidiary to a non-EU parent, and between companies are affected. Transfer of personal data often happens when companies outsource certain tasks such as customer sales and help lines to offshore call centres."

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Please, LEAVE DATA ALONE (1)

faragon (789704) | about a year ago | (#44934389)

You insesitive French clods: LEAVE DATA ALONE! [youtube.com]

Re:Please, LEAVE DATA ALONE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44934475)

Catholic French lunatics want another Crusade on behalf of God's chosen people. Vive le war for Israele'! Dying for Israel is to die an honorable death, from the Goyim's perspective.

Re:Please, LEAVE DATA ALONE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44934767)

Catholic French lunatics want another Crusade on behalf of God's chosen people. Vive le war for Israele'! Dying for Israel is to die an honorable death, from the Goyim's perspective.

Hmmm, I assume you mean to imply that it's foolish to tax data. I couldn't tell because you successfully veiled your opinion in a curtain of bigotry. Aside from that, yes it is dumb to tax data. France only has to look to Massachusetts, USA to see how foolish this is. Massachusetts attempted to tax computer services and failed miserably. The problem with the French idea to tax is that once the data leaves, it's gone and no longer taxable. Taxing data will only make corporations export data in it's more primitive, preprocessed form which means that France will likely loose more tech jobs, the jobs that process data.

Re:Please, LEAVE DATA ALONE (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#44939015)

France has been enacting policies that discourage employment and economic growth for years, what makes you think they're going to stop any time soon?

Re:Please, LEAVE DATA ALONE (1)

crypto2600 (800176) | about a year ago | (#44942341)

Same boneheads who came up with the idea of banning excerpts of news articles in search results...

Enforcement (5, Interesting)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about a year ago | (#44934415)

To enforce this you would need to inspect the contents of encrypted communications. On the same scale as the NSA inspects communications metadata.

Re:Enforcement (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44934569)

To enforce this you would need to inspect the contents of encrypted communications.

Not necessarily. Instead, you could offer financial incentives for disgruntled employees to rat on the companies they work for.

Re:Enforcement (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44935155)

Have you been reading up on the BSA lately?

Re:Enforcement (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44935933)

The important thing is that the government of France, a deeply indebted country with 11% unemployment, is focused like a laser beam on giving businesses yet another reason not to locate in their country.

Re:Enforcement (3)

Barsteward (969998) | about a year ago | (#44936553)

i think its more targeted at the global companies like Google, Amazon etc who do their level best to avoid paying local taxes and don;t necessarily have a large physical presence on the ground. I'm sure Google et al would not to exit any country of france's size.

Re:Enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44937151)

i think its more targeted at the global companies like Google, Amazon etc who do their level best to avoid paying local taxes and don;t necessarily have a large physical presence on the ground. I'm sure Google et al would not to exit any country of france's size.

No doubt.

Like all good Socialists, they're targeting other people's money. [wikiquote.org]

Which they will eventually run out of.

Right, Detroit? Right, Greece?

Re:Enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44937895)

Like all good Socialists

This is called nationalism and protectionism.

Re:Enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44942767)

and the US also uses protectionism, what do you think those subsidies for farmers are?

Re:Enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44945475)

also note that google, apple, amazon are not paying taxes on the US either

Re:Enforcement (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941533)

focused like a laser beam on giving businesses yet another reason not to locate in their country.

Whereas the US is so welcoming to immigrants? The French unemployment rate was actually considerably higher in the 90s. We do things very differently here, but the French economy is quite strong, and quality of life here is great.

Re: Enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939625)

Idiotic and fascist idea
Why would I want my money to be used that way?

Re:Enforcement (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44934589)

Or, it'll be like most laws, and enforcement will be on discovery of violation, and depend on the human element.

Re:Enforcement (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44934763)

it's actually pretty easy to enforce this for firms that do customer service etc.. if the dude that answers the phone is in malaysia then the data he reads has been exported. sure you can try to hide that too but you're bound to screw it up somehow(and it becomes hard to explain how come your phones are being answered despite you not having personnel inside france to do it.).

it's only hard to know where exactly the data is in storage.

Re:Enforcement (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#44942673)

nope the dude's phone call has been imported to your published desktop

Re:Enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44934771)

While I normally scoff at Slashdotters who mention NSA spying in every story, this case it's actually relevant. However, you have the scope of this enforcement wrong. What the NSA has done would be trivial compared to implementing such a system as what France suggests. To France's benefit, they might be able to buy the system China uses, it has a feature to block any encrypted communications that do not accept the governmental oversight decryption commands, as well as the usual address and metadata filtering rules of other firewalls.

Re:Enforcement (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44934991)

Any time we look to China for a superior product, we really should take a step back and think twice about what we're doing.

Re:Enforcement (3, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44935229)

Like paper & gunpowder & printing & i-dont-know the fucking fork?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chinese_inventions [wikipedia.org]

Re:Enforcement (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44935503)

That's an invention, not the product itself. You'll also notice that very few of those are from the last few decades. Given how countries change over time, what they may have done centuries ago is not relevant to the quality of their products today. Like how Made in Japan used to mean utter crap, but now they're now exporting many quality goods - same with South Korea. However, China is largely known for exporting crappy knockoffs and cutting corners today, regardless of what their general quality may have been like in ages past.

Re:Enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44935667)

Pretty sure South Korea is know for only exporting crappy knockoffs.

Well, that and 100Mbit internet connections for everyone.

Re:Enforcement (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44936519)

Just like Japan used to be known for only exporting crappy knockoffs in the 1960's and 70's. Hey you know what, maybe this whole industrialization process has something like a life cycle and goes through phases as it matures. If that's true to bad for the Americans, mocking a young industrial base that will grow up to be bigger than all the industry in the world combined. Kinda like the abusive parent realizing that one day his kid is going to be bigger than him...

Re:Enforcement (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about a year ago | (#44938805)

Just like Germany was known for exporting cheap knockoffs in the late 1800s/early 1900s. That's why England established the 'made in Germany' label, to warn customers.

Re:Enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939539)

Indeed. But boy that that label idea backfire...

Re:Enforcement (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44936587)

I don't know, I've been pretty impressed with my Hyundai. Samsung and LG seem to be doing fairly well too.

Re:Enforcement (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#44934989)

This is why for a very long time it was illegal to encrypt anything in france. Just another reason they were so slow to pick up the internet.

Re:Enforcement (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44936411)

Metadata. Yeah, keep telling yourself it's just metadata.

Re:Enforcement (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#44937621)

"To enforce this you would need to inspect the contents of encrypted communications. On the same scale as the NSA inspects communications metadata."

Government Surveillance For Sale is even more ominous than Big Brother.

Re:Enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44945419)

Or you just simply tax ALL data and force the companies to prove that it should have been excempt. Much easier and very much more French.

Logical (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44934443)

Since users are the product, import/export taxes should apply...

Re:Logical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44934871)

I'm sorry, but if you include subsidiaries, etc.like it says in the summary you are taxing all global companies so that they can have a Global Address List (GAL in Exchange server - I forget what other mail systems call it). Me? I want to be able to have employee email address, physical address, phone number, etc. in a handy contact list. I don't want to fork over money to some crazy ass government entity just because I need a contact list.

Brilliant (3, Funny)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year ago | (#44934533)

I like it. Yes enforcement would be tough, but that's a totally separate thing. This supports privacy but it does much more than that. It supports actually being able to make laws. It's less about "transfer" and more about transfering outside of the legal jurisdiction.

More importantly, it attributes real value to personal data. That makes sense today, since it's sold as a currency already.

Totally Unworkable (2)

brunes69 (86786) | about a year ago | (#44934789)

So when you work in America and you manage employees in the UK, you now can't know any personal details on them without paying tax? How do you manage their salary? Their vacation time? How do they request parental leave? Now what - this is all hands off, with some kind of delegate relationship? How do you run your business this way.

Do you know how common this kind of setup is in any multi-national corporation? Reporting chains are not restricted to single countries.

This kind of thinking is very isolationist.

Re:Totally Unworkable (0)

biodata (1981610) | about a year ago | (#44934873)

You seem to have some kind of quaint idea that multi-national corporations are a good thing for everyone concerned, and that elected politicians are there for the benefit of making things easy for the corporations. Perhaps single-country corporations would be better for the people of most countries. I guess we might find out if this tax has legs.

Re:Totally Unworkable (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44935201)

Perhaps single-country corporations would be better for the people of most countries.

Yeah, because those kinds of nationalism and trade barriers worked so well for 19th and 20th century Europe, right?

I guess we might find out if this tax has legs.

A lot of stupid, self-destructive things have legs in European politics; just look at the past few centuries of history.

Re:Totally Unworkable (1)

biodata (1981610) | about a year ago | (#44936527)

Probably the British Empire was the first global corporation, and that predates the 19th Century considerably, and you are right it worked out very badly for a lot of people all over the world. The modern corporations do not exist for the benefit of the people of Europe any more than the British Empire existed for the benefit of the people of Africa or anywhere else. I am not a nationalist, far from it, but we don't currently have a democratically elected world government which can legislate in any way over the activities of multinational corporations. I don't understand how anyone would think it is best to hand over power to unelected boards of corporations rather than elected officials. We developed democracies to bring the rule of law to our neighbourhoods, and the corporations tried to sidestep all that by becoming stateless, to make an extra buck by avoiding tax regimes and labour laws they didn't like. I think maybe France wants to stand up for the rule of law in the world.

Re:Totally Unworkable (2)

garyebickford (222422) | about a year ago | (#44938391)

unelected boards of corporations

Technically, having an elected board is a characteristic of most types of corporations. Generally the board is elected by a 'one share = one vote" election, although there are other arrangements, such as one class of shares having more votes - common in family-run corporations. In some countries (Germany for one), the unions and the local governments even have representatives on the board.

In recent decades there has been an unfortunate dearth of investors (largely institutions and funds these days) not actually using their voting power to significantly influence management, but that seems to be changing in the last few years. There are even funds that sell to 'green' or other single-issue investors, that vote according to their principals.

If you mean, "unelected by my local fellow citizens", then true. The number and scope of unintended consequences of doing that would be huge. In fact this French thing is actually a fairly good example by analogy.

Re:Totally Unworkable (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44945335)

Probably the British Empire was the first global corporation, and that predates the 19th Century considerably, and you are right it worked out very badly for a lot of people all over the world

The British empire wasn't a "global corporation", it was a belligerent and oppressive nation.

I am not a nationalist, far from it, but we don't currently have a democratically elected world government which can legislate in any way over the activities of multinational corporations

Bullshit. Multinational corporations have to comply with all local laws wherever they operate, and they do.

We developed democracies to bring the rule of law to our neighbourhoods, and the corporations tried to sidestep all that by becoming stateless, to make an extra buck by avoiding tax regimes and labour laws they didn't like

They don't "sidestep" anything. What they do is move production to where it is cheapest, namely developing nations with people eager to work for less than greedy Europeans. That's what these corporations are supposed to do; it's the whole purpose of having free trade and free movement of good and people in the first place. What really bothers you is the same thing that has bothered European imperialists for centuries, namely developing nations getting ahead, instead of being to exploit them mercilessly.

Re:Totally Unworkable (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44936639)

It's been a long time since a "real" war. No or very few politicians alive actually remember one. Growing populations, greed and corruption are putting more pressure on resources; population on the demand side, corruption and greed on the waste side, so even if we have more, we actually have "less". Everyone is pissing around their individual post and marking their territory - Russia, Japan, China, US. The world is basically divided into 2 camps: US/Euro and some allies, vs Russia/China and some allies. Even if China and Russia are not outright allies, they realize they have to co-operate. Throw in another economic crisis and I see the powder-keg going off. Easily. So your analogy to 19th/20th century is correct. "It's that time again".

Re:Totally Unworkable (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44945299)

Throw in another economic crisis and I see the powder-keg going off. Easily. So your analogy to 19th/20th century is correct. "It's that time again".

It's only "that time again" if Europeans fall back into their protectionist and nationalist ways. Free trade and free movement of goods and people are the best antidotes.

(And your understanding of global "camps" and "alliances" is ridiculous.)

Re:Totally Unworkable (2)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year ago | (#44935159)

They are currently set up for their own profit. One of the only reasons that they go "multi-national" in the first place is to dodge tax laws.

But to your question specifically, you can easily have the heads of each country manage vacation schedules.

I don't think you realize that "outsourcing" means exporting a country's wealth. France is a particularly good example here, because it's very socialist in an amazingly family-friendly manner -- way beyond what you probably think is possible. Forget healthcare, hospitals will re-imburse you for your cabfare on-the-spot.

A society with that much wealth, literally paying its citizens with money and services leaps and bounds beyond just about anywhere else in the world, hasn't any hope in hell of competing when it comes to labour rates. So if you choose to live, work, or do business in a place that pays its citizens top-dollar, you can't be allowed to then stop paying anyone, take the country's money, and use it to pay peanuts to far-away peoples. If you are, you might as well just shut the country down now.

And that's the point. The people living there prefer the higher wages, and the better services. That's why they live there. No one's forced to live there. And no one's forced to work there. So this is all cool.

Re:Totally Unworkable (1)

GNious (953874) | about a year ago | (#44935173)

If you're in the US handling HR and Legal aspects for employees, there is a 99% chance you're messing up anyways*

*: Based on my experience

Re:Totally Unworkable (3, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#44935221)

You got the idea. It's a disincentive for companies to have them manage personal data outside of the jurisdiction of people the data is about (which makes it nearly impossible or at least very expensive and cumbersome for said people to go to court about that data). Yes, you can still do it, but it comes at a price. And the company has to consider if it's worth it.

Re:Totally Unworkable (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#44935565)

You could always have a subsidiary in the country managing the employees there, with the subsidiary reporting back overall numbers without any specifics on individuals. If you're already a multinational company, is there really a major need to know the details on individual employees anyway? Overall stats like the number of people on a particular insurance plan, in a specific position with the company, or making a certain amount of money should be enough for most decisions.

Yes, there would be some additional overhead from doubling up on personnel management rather than centralizing it all in one location, but it would just be an additional cost for doing business in that country, and one that I wouldn't mind seeing them pay (and I'm even an American, but I don't wish this surveillance state stuff on anyone else, so kudos to them for trying to discourage the export of their citizen's personal data).

Re:Totally Unworkable (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year ago | (#44935791)

some additional overhead from doubling up on personnel management

You have now convinced me that this will be welcomed by companies as this means that existing managers will be able to hire additional MBAs. This is also why it will suck for any regular employees.

Re:Totally Unworkable (1)

simonreid (811410) | about a year ago | (#44940159)

is there really a major need to know the details on individual employees anyway?

Yes or course there is. Lets say I have a customer in the US who has a colleague in the UK that also wants to buy my product, how can I put him in touch with someone in our London office without knowing their phone number? What if I want to grow my business in China and want to look at who the top sales guys are all over the world? Those examples are trivial but there are thousands more.

Yes, there would be some additional overhead from doubling up on personnel management rather than centralizing it all in one location, but it would just be an additional cost for doing business in that country, and one that I wouldn't mind seeing them pay (and I'm even an American, but I don't wish this surveillance state stuff on anyone else, so kudos to them for trying to discourage the export of their citizen's personal data).

That sounds lovely until you realize that the EU classes everything as personal information. Its a mess as it is having to get permission from every employee in an EU country to be able to share basic stuff like phone numbers and office locations outside the EU. I can't imagine how complex it would get if you then had a tax liability on top of it.

What will end up happening is one of two things, people will only ever host data in the EU (since it costs money to take it out and the EU is a big market so screw it, lets just leave it there), or companies will never store information there.

Actually thinking about it this could be a genius plan, effectively forcing companies to manage their operations in the EU by applying an export tariff (which is what this tax would be) that is so complex to manage its just cheaper to move operations there

Re:Totally Unworkable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940999)

indeed this is *already* almost the way it works -you do have a local UK director, who has a local HR manager.

Re:Totally Unworkable (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#44936377)

Do you seriously believe that people in the HR department in the US have ANY idea how to manage the salary of those in Europe? If anything, this would be an advantage to handle local budgets locally.

Do you think they are interested in how much a 36 year old female receptionist in Belgium who works in a 9/10th system with every Wednesday morning of and has taken 3 days payed holiday and 1 afternoon in sickness gets in meal vouchers? (Yes, that is a real life example) . Or how much she gets payed back after she moved 7 KM closer to the company?

What really happens is that there is considers how high the headcount needs to be. Then how high the budget must be. And that is ALL they will be interested in. Headcount and cost. They do not care about individuals.

So these things are managed locally. This has been the way for EVERY international company.

Re:Brilliant (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44935101)

This supports privacy but it does much more than that.

No, it invades privacy, and does so massively. Right now, if you want your data in the EU to be safe from the prying eyes of European governments, you can store it outside the country and they are going to have a tough time getting at it. This would make it costly for EU citizens to store their data outside the country, and in addition give EU governments free reign accessing all personal data leaving the country in the guise of "protecting" it.

Re:Brilliant (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year ago | (#44935227)

audits aren't actually revealing. you're talking about one of the most confidential processes in the world. You're also talking about a part of the world with some of the best privacy laws. You don't store your data outside of the EU to protect it. You store it inside. Most other places are much worse.

But again, audits are divulging.

Re:Brilliant (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44936147)

audits aren't actually revealing

And you know this... how? Who controls that? Who verifies that?

you're talking about one of the most confidential processes in the world

I.e.., you have no idea what they are doing.

You're also talking about a part of the world with some of the best privacy laws

No, I'm talking about a part of the world where governments record intimate details of their citizens' lives as part of routine government activities, and can intrude into their private data with impunity, and where they have done so for decades (and actually centuries). Read the news sometimes, even European newspapers report on it every few years, e.g., http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23178284 [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Brilliant (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year ago | (#44936365)

Patents, audits, communication carriers, and many other very finely invasive procedures are subject to incredibly strict laws.

Most things aren't. Those things are. Read your local laws. Discover that what is protected is actually very well protected. Those are the things that you want to use.

When it comes to corporate audits, that information is not only not publicized, it's not even internalized in any real capacity. Doing so is directly illegal, and can cause major economic turmoil on a national scale.

No one opens your mail. In my country, there's only one office permitted to open someone's mail. And the reasons for doing so are incredibly particular. And even then, what that person is actually allowed to do with the knowledge is virtually nothing.

Sure, when you deal with most things, those protections don't exist. But this isn't one of those most things. It's something that's very well protected. Make sure it stays that way -- by taking advantage of those protections. The more you use them, the more you entrust to them, the stronger they become.

Re:Brilliant (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44945361)

No one opens your mail. In my country, there's only one office permitted to open someone's mail.

Your country almost certainly has numerous exceptions to privacy laws for state security; almost all European nations do. Governments in places like Germany, France, and the UK have always been tapping phone lines and monitoring electronic communications widely.

Re:Brilliant (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#44935267)

That's simply wrong. To tax the data, no one needs to know the actual data, it's sufficient to know how much it is. The postal service also doesn't know what's in a letter to put a price on delivery.

Re:Brilliant (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44935953)

That's simply wrong. To tax the data, no one needs to know the actual data, it's sufficient to know how much it is.

Non-personal data isn't taxable. So, in order to verify that data that is declared as non-personal actually is, the French government needs to be able to look at it.

Besides, these details aren't going to matter much anyway; the organization responsible for "data protection" and "data taxation" will simply get these powers.

Re:Brilliant (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#44936601)

No, it doesn't. It is sufficient to look how the data is used. If the call center knows your contract details when you call it, then the call center knows personal data. If the call center is in a non-EU state, this data was exported and is taxable. If it doesn't appear on the tax declaration, then the company contracting the call center is liable for tax evasion.

Re:Brilliant (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44945313)

You're both naive and wrong.

You're naive because European data protection agencies already have wide-ranging powers to access private data, and they wouldn't settle for anything less in this case.

You're wrong because just because some cases of exports of taxable data could be detected by other means doesn't mean all can; governments generally have complete power to audit anything related to taxes, so they would have that in this case as well.

Re:Brilliant (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#44945721)

I am not naive, but I guess here we have two conflicting interests: One is the finance side, which wants to collect as much money as seamlessly as possible, and then there is the law inforcement side, which likes to go on fishing expeditions. The finance side wants the companies to either report as many as possible data exports or alternatively process data at home creating taxable jobs. For this, it doesn't want to make moving data a hassle to anyone, while law enforcement prefers as much as possible insight into the actual data. Given how cash strapped most governments are, I guess, finance will win.

Re:Brilliant (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44947493)

Data protection is not "law enforcement"; it's usually handled via separate data protection agencies, which often have powers to access private data that go far beyond law enforcement, of course all in the name of "protecting" people's privacy. If the "ministry of truth" is the propaganda ministry, the "data protection agency" is ...

If the goal is to keep data at home and create jobs, how do you do that? By making it as much hassle as possible to move data out of the country; politicians know that which is why they create laws like this.

And tax agencies (or other government agencies) don't really care about what the purpose of a law is anyway. They are perfectly happy to enforce laws in ways that counteract their original intent. They create hassles for people and corporations for the simple reason that they have the power to do so. So if politicians want to discourage an activity, a tax on that activity is two-for-one: not only do most people end up having to pay the tax, the enforcement of the tax itself is an additional disincentive to engaging in the activity.

Its about jobs not personal privacy ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#44935113)

More importantly, it attributes real value to personal data. That makes sense today, since it's sold as a currency already.

These laws are about protecting domestic jobs not about protecting your personal privacy. Its an attempt to keep the processing of information in the EU. The problem is it is applicable only to personal data, businesses already work around this by anonymizing data. Names, addresses, social security numbers / national ID numbers and other personally identifiable information (PII) are replaced with codes only the domestic organization knows. Thus the data transferred outside the EU has no PII. When the processed information is returned to the EU the codes are replaced with the PII.

Re:Its about jobs not personal privacy ... (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year ago | (#44935255)

That's an enforcement detail that easily changed in the future. Come on.

Re:Its about jobs not personal privacy ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#44935483)

That's an enforcement detail that easily changed in the future. Come on.

Changing the definition of personally identifiable information (PII) is not a small detail. Doing so would have massive consequences on domestic data processing as well. Businesses would undertake a massive effort to "educate and inform" politicians should they think about doing so.

Re:Its about jobs not personal privacy ... (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year ago | (#44935905)

Think more. It's easier than creating this law in the first place. It's also an enforcement issue more than a principle issue. And this law isn't set yet. Wait until next month.

Stop arguing the argument. Women do that. Try arguing the actual point being made. This isn't a debate club. If you want the value of a debate, elect a president who's as useless as the one before him. If you want to actually make a difference from one year to the next, argue the problem and its solution.

Re:Its about jobs not personal privacy ... (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a year ago | (#44942933)

This isn't a debate club.

Of course Slashdot is a debate club. It's whole function is to give a subject in the form of a story and then let people comment the story and other comments while it keeps a record.

Re:Its about jobs not personal privacy ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44945383)

Do you have an actual, coherent point to make?

The law's already in place (1)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about a year ago | (#44936335)

Data exported from the EU already has to maintain certain data protection standards: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Safe_Harbor_Privacy_Principles [wikipedia.org] though one suspects the law may not be well enforced. All this does is add a tax on top, which is, relatively, a detail

Re:The law's already in place (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year ago | (#44936489)

You're funny. You're complaining that they don't spend a lot of money enforcing it, and then you're calling the acquisition of funds a detail.

This will be the very money that makes enforcing it worth while!

So if someone ships books out of the EU... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44934593)

...does that count as "data"? How about DVDs?

So I guess if CERN sends Fermilab a 100 Terrabyte data set, that will get taxed as well?

Maybe they could tax every Linux distro someone downloads from an EU server...

Re:So if someone ships books out of the EU... (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#44934711)

Try reading more than just the headline next time.

Re:So if someone ships books out of the EU... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44934819)

Yes, export taxes apply to books like everywhere in the world. And read TFA, is a tax on PERSONAL data stored outside EU, it does not apply to ANY of your examples.

Re:So if someone ships books out of the EU... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year ago | (#44935025)

Personal data is already defined in EU law. The Fermilab data set is not personal data. The book almost certainly isn't either. The linux distro is definitely not personal data.

data protection in the EU (0)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44934645)

Data protection in the EU already involves government agencies with enormous powers to intrude into private data. Enforcement of this "tax" means, in particular, that French government officials will have to have access to all communications of corporations. The primary goal is not to protect people's privacy, it's obviously to spy on foreign companies and to invade their privacy.

What's going on is that EU citizens have little privacy within the EU; European governments can get at any data on servers within their own countries with near impunity. Therefore EU governments hate it when EU citizens store their data on US servers because they can't easily get at it. That's why they have embarked on a campaign to demonize US companies and to put legal restrictions in place for data moving out of the country. It has nothing to do with protecting privacy and everything with invading it.

Mon oeil.

Re:data protection in the EU (1)

KillaBeave (1037250) | about a year ago | (#44935003)

That and it's a jobs bill. Hard to consolidate your data centers out of country if that's illegal. Need in-country monkeys to run those boxes!

Re:data protection in the EU (2)

Flavianoep (1404029) | about a year ago | (#44935281)

That and it's a jobs bill. Hard to consolidate your data centers out of country if that's illegal. Need in-country monkeys to run those boxes!

Who said that transferring data should or would be illegal. EU citizen have to pay tax on sales, is ever sales illegal?

Re:data protection in the EU (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#44939863)

I guess it boils down to whether you want to have the EU or the US to spy on you. Personally, I prefer the one I have a vote in.

Re:data protection in the EU (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44945289)

Personally, I prefer countries to spy on me who can't do anything to me personally, i.e., the countries where I don't vote.

As the gun lobby would say (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44934657)

If legal data transfers are taxed, only illegal data transfers... won't be taxed.

OK, it needs some work.

Please nuke France (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44934739)

Thank you.

that's what caused the problem, TFA says (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44935017)

TFA says:

> [Companies pay their taxes] inEuropean countries which have lower corporate tax rates, such as Ireland whereGoogle has its European headquarters. ... so let's make our taxes higher and more complex.
They put their headquarters in Ireland so they can pay their taxes in Ireland because Ireland has low taxes.
If you want them to locate (and pay taxes) in your country, you should ... have high taxes?!?!

Re:that's what caused the problem, TFA says (2)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about a year ago | (#44936565)

YES. And then have a corrupt taxation authority, like in the Netherlands, that you can make "special deals" with. This guarantees that you will not suffer from competition by pesky small companies.

It all makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44935067)

The French should also tax semen left by their countrymen in other country's prostitutes, since it is effectively mass data storage transfered for business purposes.

NSA will not like it (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | about a year ago | (#44935107)

Do you think they could get an exception on this tax?

Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44935359)

Typical taxing behaviour from the Great South of Europe which France seems to aspire to be part of. Political isms seem to be irrelevant to this tendency while weak national identity (The French will surely love this) and resulting bad governance are. Double taxing is the new black!

French kiss (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44935553)

Note it is coucjed as sticking it to foreign companies, and helping the local French people, when it is actually another attempt to force the French to shoulder even more unnecessary financial burdens and make them more anti-competitive.

Basically: We politicians pretend this kicks the rich in the balls when they will just shift the burden onto you.

Obama (0)

jeff13 (255285) | about a year ago | (#44935557)

Well, yea but, how can we make this Obama's fault?

Re:Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940091)

Ok, let me try: would Obama be for or against a law like this?

Remember Haiti? (1)

micahraleigh (2600457) | about a year ago | (#44935939)

Haiti is a French-speaking country that was economically crippled because it instituted (among other thigs) export taxes.

Most free market people agree import taxes are bad (see protectionism), but export taxes all kinds of crazy.

Export taxes say, "Don't buy anything from us!". And the money goes elsewhere.

Government incentives to spy (1)

greggman (102198) | about a year ago | (#44936823)

Just what we need. Incentivise the government to sell our data.

"We're short on tax revenue. I know, let's sell some data to the NSA"

Tax the NSA and GCHQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44937085)

I wouldn't mind if they would tax the NSA and GCHQ for taking data out.

Same goes for cheap GSM plans in EU (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#44937915)

All billings end up in Israel of all places (wtf?)

Biased (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938011)

"Transfer of personal data often happens when companies outsource certain tasks such as customer sales and help lines to offshore call centres."
Also when facebook, google, yahoo etc sends personal data to US from Europe. I think the excerpt is very capitalistic written and not from a privacy perspective. The article should not be formulated like that on Slashdot, should focus on the technology and the great privacy implications.

Good luck trying to tax the data we stole, EU! (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#44938451)

We are the NSA.

Our chief weapons are Fear, Theft, and Stealing.

We repeat the last two just because we can.

Now go home you silly EU kniggits!

The Google Tax (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year ago | (#44939437)

I think the real intent is to force Google to pay taxes in the EU.

Does the definition of "taking data out" include web crawling? That's all it would take.

When I see this sort of thing my cynical sensor goes to eleven. If the situation was reversed, and Google was in France, how would the French react to a similar data tax in the US? They would bitch so loudly that you could hear it standing on the Atlantic coast of Florida.

Re:The Google Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44946151)

Here is an idea I thought of recently.

What if we subject businesses to native-tax for 10 years after leaving the country? So if the next Microsoft or Google is born within America, for example, and leaves in order to "evade" taxes, they'd still have to pay American corporate income tax on 100% of their income for 10 years following it, less the taxes paid in another country. So, if the rate is 3% in another country, and would-be 10% in the USA, they'd pay 7% income tax in the USA. Something like that.

Phonetic suicide (0)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about a year ago | (#44940459)

French is already a seondary language in decline. Bye, bye.

Re:Phonetic suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44946299)

Try to write your own properly.

Corporations are financial entities (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44943461)

Corporations are financial entities
This includes the corporations that the U.S. and many world governments have become.
They will not stop any behaviour until it becomes unprofitable.
Historically, profit has had many meanungs.
not starving
making money
keeping the money you stole
keeping your thieving neck out of a noose

read the paper, examples abound
what are we going to do about it
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