Implementation of Polygraph, software to fight against false online reviews

Publié le null - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

In order to effectively combat false notices published online against professionals, the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) has been implementing a software called Polygraph. The latter collects information enabling the authors of these disputed opinions to be identified. The aim is therefore to better protect the professionals affected by this practice and to prevent consumers from being misled.

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Image 1Crédits: valiantsin -

In the face of the proliferation of false consumer opinions that impact competition, the need for an effective tool to combat this practice was essential.

A decree of 1er june 2023 therefore authorizes the implementation of the software for a period of 3 years Polygraph to process and analyze all online reviews.

The data collected by the software is provided to competition, consumer and law enforcement officers. They will then be able to initiate investigations against professionals who have directly or indirectly posted suspected false opinions.

What data does Polygraph collect?

Data and information on online reviews collected by Polygraph are:

  • data concerning the declared author of the notice: surname, first name or pseudonym, identifier assigned by the platform operator, URL address of the personal page;
  • data concerning the trader subject to the notice: name on the platform, identifier assigned by the operator of the platform, website URL, telephone number, email address, geographical data (address, latitude, longitude);
  • data concerning opinions: text of the opinion and text of any reply to the opinion.

Please note

Opinions must be freely accessible and clearly made public.

What do you risk if you publish a false notice?

Publishing a false notice by a trader is a deceptive marketing practice under the Consumer Code.

The penalty for this offense is 2 years imprisonment and €300,000 fine.

What to do if you are the victim of a false opinion?

If you are the victim of a false opinion, you can complain.

The false opinion may be the subject of an injunction issued by an officer of the DGCCRF or of a conviction handed down by an investigating judge or by the court hearing the prosecution.

Please note

Publishing a false notice by a trader is a deceptive marketing practice. The publication of a false notice by an individual is a defamation offense.

Can I object to the processing of the data collected by Polygraph?

It is not possible to object to the processing of data collected by Polygraph.

However, you can use your rights of access, rectification, erasure, and limitation of data. These are directed to the Director-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention, who is responsible for processing: