Impôts Gouv: the application born from the dangerous connection between the French state and Google

The Google Play license is a tool for Android application developers used to protect their source code. It ensures that only authorized users gain access to the service, via an exchange of identifiers between the terminal and the Google Play servers. This makes it possible to impose usage restrictions, such as the number of downloads per account or even a defined usage period.

What is the Google Play license?

Before using the application, users must thus accept the conditions for use of the Google Play license, therefore in extension the conditions for use and data processing by Google.

With a “de-googled” OS like /e/, you can’t access the Gov Tax app: you have to use your browser.

A public service dependent on Google

It is therefore this service, the Google Play license, which has just been added to the Impôt Gouv Android application. Is it a problem? Yes ! First of all, it creates a system of dependency between the owner of the application (here the French State) and the access provider (here Google). A real risk if one day Google decides, for example, to change the usage or terms of its Google Play license.

This also raises the question of users’ freedom to use a public service. To put it simply, to use a central application of the French public service, you have to accept the terms of use of a private, American company service, which has been repeatedly challenged for its data handling. If the user does not wish to accept the T&Cs, he cannot access his tax information from the dedicated application.

Against the CNIL

A use that is totally incompatible with the regulatory and legal foundations of public service, but equally illogical with the recommendations of the CNIL regarding Google services. For example, the Commission very strongly urges people to no longer use Google Analytics to monitor the statistics of a website due to the vagueness surrounding the processing of personal data and their storage in the United States outside the scope of the GDPR.

With any luck, the Impôt Gov application will return to this option as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can still access your tax information from the official site, which works without a Google license! Don’t forget when to ask for your fuel check from January 16th!

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