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

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pamela, both tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced on Friday.

The state of play: The Northams were tested after one of their staff "who works closely within the couple's living quarters" tested positive. The governor is asymptomatic, while his wife is "experiencing mild symptoms." They plan to isolate at home for 10 days.

Ina Fried, author of Login
41 mins ago - Technology

Amazon wants to flood America with Alexa cameras and microphones

Photo: Amazon

In a Thursday event unveiling a slew of new home devices ahead of the holidays, Amazon made clearer than ever its determination to flood America with cameras, microphones and the voice of Alexa, its AI assistant.

The big picture: Updating popular products and expanding its range to car alarms and in-home drones, Amazon extended its lead in smart home devices and moved into new areas including cloud gaming and car security. The new offerings will also fuel criticism that the tech giant is helping equip a society built around surveillance.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Oil's turbulent long-term future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The oil sector is facing risks from all sides.

Why it matters: Risk in the industry is nothing new. But these are especially turbulent and uncertain times. The industry's market clout has waned, the future of demand is kind of a mystery, and future U.S. policy is too, just to name three.

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