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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios Visuals

French authorities have three years to test a new law allowing them to comb social media posts and find evidence of tax fraud or evasion, Bloomberg Tax reports.

Catch up quick: All personal data mined under the law must be public by the user and not password protected, per Bloomberg, and authorities cannot look for evidence that taxpayers have been warned for not filing a tax return.

What they're saying: CNIL, France's data watchdog, said in September that the new law "must be accompanied by strong guarantees in order to preserve the rights and freedoms of the persons concerned."

  • CNIL also said that collecting social media data could “significantly change individuals’ behavior online, where they might not feel able to express themselves freely on the platforms in question," per the Guardian.

Of note: In New York, life insurers can use social media posts to set premium rates — if insurers can prove that having that information won't lead to discriminatory practices, per the Wall Street Journal.

Go deeper

Defense taking steps to mitigate civilian harm after botched airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 1, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive Thursday to improve the U.S. military's approach to civilian harm mitigation and response, calling it a "strategic and a moral imperative."

Why it matters: The Pentagon has faced criticism for years for amassing civilian casualties in its missions, especially in the Middle East. New York Times investigations have found systemic failures in efforts to prevent civilian deaths, as well as a cover-up of a 2019 airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in Syria.

2 hours ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.

Crypto leads to massive surge in online scams

Expand chart
Reproduced from FTC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bogus cryptocurrency investments led to an unprecedented increase in online scams last year, according to new data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is an easy target because while it's surging in popularity, there's still a lot of confusion about how it works.

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