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CRS and beneficial ownership registers—a call to action

A recent change in the UK tax authorities’ Common Reporting Standard (CRS) guidance is a sign of things to come. Campaigners should take comfort from a growing number of court decisions reaffirming the fundamental value of the right to privacy in a democratic society.

The same goes for the increasing number of distress signals sent out by data protection authorities, including an opinion released on 2 February 2017 on the proportionality of the EU beneficial ownership registers and a letter dated 12 December 2016 to the EU and the OECD. However, positive cries of ‘I have a dream’ need to be assessed against reality. It will take someone with the courage to sacrifice their individual privacy in order to assert the right to privacy of society as a whole before the courts. Fortunately, collective support is on hand, but practitioners need to take a more activist approach before lives are endangered.

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