Legal Business

Privacy v transparency – incoming OECD tax rules are opening a new battle front

Withers’ Filippo Noseda casts a weary eye over the latest attempt to bolster tax disclosure

In almost every field of legal work, privacy is regarded as a primary and legitimate concern to protect the interests of individuals and organisations. This was confirmed recently when the European Court of Justice (ECJ) struck down the US-EU data exchange agreement amid fears that data transferred to the US would end up in the hands of the US government – a fear fuelled by the revelations in 2013 by Edward Snowden of widespread electronic surveillance – as well as a US judge’s ruling ordering Microsoft to deliver information held on an Irish server. For the ECJ, the US-EU ‘safe harbour’ agreement violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that a private life is a human right and any interference with it must be proportionate and justified.