Bercy will deploy a tool to detect fake reviews online

This solution, called Polygraph, should help improve consumer confidence by detecting fake online reviews.

Opinions posted online by consumers can be an excellent barometer to gauge the quality of a product or sales service. While it is not unusual to refer to them to guide an election, these estimates are not always reliable. It is in this framework and to fight against comments, ratings or other publicly available fraudulent ratings, which the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) will make available to its investigators, “Polygraph”, a means of discovering them

A decree of Bercy, examined on December 15 by the National Commission for Data Processing and Liberties (CNIL), should allow the implementation of this device, the cost of the development of which has been estimated in 2019 300,000 euros over two years, which should make it possible to catch professionals guilty of spreading dubious opinions, which is considered a crime, reports this Tuesday, January 3. The Informed.

Use of raw data

In detail, according to the Ministry of Transformation and Public Service, Poygraphe will recover and use a lot of “relevant data” on the platform in question (site, phone number, location, etc.) as well as on the contributor (name or nickname, identifier on the platform, URL of its page, etc.). In addition, elements related to revisions (text of comment, text of possible response to revision, etc.), or connection data and other event logs (adding or deleting an account, nature of requests made, content modification by administrators, etc.).

Then, the algorithm goesidentify suspicious comments using various indicators of suspicion defined by investigators with experience on the subject”, says the Ministry of Transformation and Public Service. The last stage consists in “visualizing the results in the form of an interface for investigators”. for the management of use of these data, DGCCRF wants to be able to keep them for up to 6 months from their collection. In addition, the right of Internet users to object to these treatments will not apply.

The Constitutional Council can veto

However, this device can be challenged by the Constitutional Council. The latter had estimated, within the framework of an article from the 2020 finance law, which authorized the tax services to collect and use data made public on online platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram for the purpose of detecting fraud in residence tax, that “Data revealing a person’s alleged racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs or philosophical or trade union membership, genetic and biometric data and those relating to health, life or sexual orientation”.

However, the use of online reviews could potentially allow DGCCRF to be able to develop a personal profile based on all of an internet user’s comments. For example, the organization may be able to infer a person’s religious opinion if, for example, the latter has left a review on the site of a halal butcher or even knows his health status after spotting a notice left on the website of an optician.

Leave a Comment