In Switzerland, it is possible to safely impersonate a city or an elected official on Instagram –

In Switzerland, it is not forbidden to usurp someone’s identity on the internet. This legislative vacuum is in particular the misfortune of the syndic of Lausanne Grégoire Junod, who has been a victim of it on Instagram for three years. And the Meta parent company turns a deaf ear.

The online media Watson recalled this week the existence of a fraudulent instagram account in the name of Grégoire Junod. If the photos of him come from his services, this official-looking account is not his. And the problem is not recent: the chosen one had his identity stolen three years ago.

The situation is all the more problematic as the account seems to be used for scam purposes. “Someone told me that there were [tentatives] financial scams that emanated from my account. And obviously, that is more serious than a simple identity theft”, he testifies in the 7:30 p.m.

The bait comes in the form of a preferential rate credit offer sent to followers. For the time being, it is impossible to know how many people have fallen into the trap.

The message sent by the fake Instagram account of the syndic of Lausanne. [DR]

Meta to absent subscribers

Grégoire Junod has tried many times to regain control of his identity, without success. “I have never been able to create an Instagram account. Each time, I have been rejected on the pretext that my identity was fraudulent… in favor of an account which is itself fraudulent!”, explains- he.

The Municipality also tried to approach Meta. But despite numerous requests, the parent company of Instagram did not respond, tirelessly returning to the same form, deplores the communication manager of the City of Lausanne Amélie Nappey-Barrail, interviewed by Watson. After the alerts about this scam, however, she says she has “intensified” the requests.

See also  These 8 Hilarious Animal Moments When Stuck Makes You Shake Your Head

Soon a legal framework

For its part, the syndic of Lausanne was unable to file a complaint, for lack of a legal framework. “Today, identity theft as such is not punished in Switzerland,” explains Juliette Ancelle, a lawyer specializing in new technologies. But this should change this year with the entry into force of the new data protection law.

“From September, in the Penal Code, there will be a provision that punishes identity theft if you do it to get money or defraud people,” she continues.

Widespread phenomenon

The municipality of Neuchâtel experienced a similar mishap last September. His Instagram account was hacked for five months. And again, the owner of the social network did not react. “We immediately contacted Meta for the standard procedure. Unfortunately, we never got a response. Following this, the Municipal Council wrote directly to Meta Zurich, without response either”, relates the Neuchâtel municipal councilor Didier Boillat.

In this case, it is ultimately an Internet user active in new technologies, who was able, through a contact, to unblock the situation with Meta.

No one is spared. In mid-December 2022, a fake account in the name of Federal Councilor Albert Rösti announced the death of Adolf Ogi. Identity theft continues to wreak havoc.

>> Read on the same topic: Wave of impersonation of French-speaking personalities on social networks

TV subject: Claude-Olivier Volluz and Juliette Jeannet
Adaptation web: yup

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.