Reposted from the Renounce US Citizenship blog
This post was written in December 2014. It is being reposted in 2018 – the question is why
FATCA and the CRS (“Common Reporting Standard”) are mandatory information sharing schemes. They first define people in terms of their “tax residency” (each country defines who its tax residents are) and then shares people’s private information based on that “tax residency”. In other words (assuming you believe that there is a legitimate interest in privacy) both FATCA and the CRS should be viewed as “privacy overrides”.
Although the notion of privacy is dead in the United States (companies like Facebook and Google make a living off obtaining and using private information), the European GDPR suggests that privacy is valued by Europeans and that individuals should have some control over their data. In Europe the GDPR reflects a presumption that individual belongs to the individual. There is no such presumption in the United States. See:
31-year-old Austrian lawyer Max Schrems was the catalyst for new privacy protection regulations in Europe. He says your data belongs to you and you should have control over it. pic.twitter.com/OTV0reXDOg
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) November 12, 2018
Automatic exchange of tax information and data privacy
The potential conflict between the automatic exchange of information under the CRS and privacy rights under the GDPR has not gone unnoticed and has been the subject of academic commentary. It has also led to citizens proactively asserting their privacy rights as reflected in the following article which includes:
“In a democratic society, the rights to privacy and data protection are an essential safeguard to protect compliant citizens against potential abuses and must be treated with the appropriate seriousness by the authorities.”
When privacy rights as legislated by the GDPR conflict with the erosion of privacy as madated by the CRS and #FATCA: "Mishcon de Reya complains about anti-tax evasion measures" https://t.co/wL3as7dcZF
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) December 9, 2018
The awareness of the collection of and misuse of personal data is becoming more and more prevalent.
Now back to my thoughts in December of 2014.
Brandeis: the "right to be let alone" = "the most comprehensive of rights, + the right most valued by civilized men." http://t.co/pbWxJIE4iV
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) December 27, 2014
An attack on privacy is an an attack on freedom itself.
I have previously posted on the theme of – “From Facebook To FATCA” . My theory has been that FATCA (which is an erosion of freedom) is possible only in a world that does NOT value privacy. The erosion of privacy NECESSARILY LEADS to the erosion of freedom.
An earlier post describing the relationship between FATCA and freedom included:
The argument over FATCA is NOT really about taxes. The argument is over whether individuals should be allowed to have freedom and privacy.
The U.S. government wants to abolish privacy and freedom.
Some countries and individuals want to preserve freedom (at least as long as possible.)
Question: How did the values of “freedom” and “privacy” disintegrate? Why are so many people unconcerned about the the loss of privacy? Makes no mistake about it, “privacy” and “freedom” are linked.