The Tax and Customs Administration sends a letter to 240,000 Dutch people who were in the Fraud Signaling Facility (FSV), a list of people who the service suspected of fraud. Eva González Pérez, the lawyer who started the benefits affair, questions the procedure followed.
The FSV was a secret blacklist on which the tax authorities placed people who were identified as potential fraudsters. Citizens who ended up here ran the risk of encountering all kinds of problems, for example when applying for benefits, an allowance or a rental home. The Tax and Customs Administration shared this information with other authorities.
After revelations through Faithful in RTL In February 2020, the service decided to stop using the list because it was in violation of the GDPR personal data processing act, but also that many people had incorrectly ended up on the list. At the beginning of February of this year, the House of Representatives was irritated about the slow way in which the Tax and Customs Administration is acting in this case.
Data was kept endlessly
In February this year, an internal investigation revealed that for some people it was not clear how they got on the list. The data, including the origin of people, was kept endlessly and many people have no idea that they are in the database to this day.
Further investigation by the service now shows that there were at least 240,000 people in the system. How many were wrongly in it must now be examined, the tax authorities told NU.nl.
Tax authorities admit that mistakes have been made
The agency is now going to send a letter to the people who were in the system to express regret that their inclusion in the FSV did not comply with the GDPR legislation. And she also admits mistakes were made. “For an as yet unknown number, a request for a payment settlement or amicable debt rescheduling may have been automatically rejected because they were in the fraud detection facility,” the service reports.
However, not everyone receives a letter. The parents in the childcare allowance affair are informed about the case separately by their personal case handler and people with legal complications are also not informed.
Renske Leijten, Member of Parliament for the SP, disagrees. “Just send a letter to everyone who was included in the FSV and people can see for themselves what they do with it. Everyone understands that there must be some degree of supervision, but then they have to be transparent about it instead of hiding. behind this kind of uncontrollable measures. It’s good that they are finally doing something, but it’s half done again. Why are they only doing the minimum again? We agreed that this was over, didn’t we? “
Further research into possible compensation
Lawyer González Pérez, who assists the victims of the benefits affair, denounces that the letter is not very clear. “For example, I read that certain authorities will be notified that their client was in the system. How does that work? Will they receive a copy of that letter? Because I still have questions about the privacy legislation regarding sharing data with third parties.”
She also wonders what happened to the data. “They talk about cleaning up. Is everything deleted or secured in an archive? And how did those people get on that list at all if they didn’t have to be there? And what about possible compensation?”
In a response, the Tax and Customs Administration announced that it will be investigated who may be entitled to compensation. Whether that compensation will actually be paid, the spokesperson could not say.
Source site www.nu.nl