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EU-US bank data deal new guidelines

brussels bureau

EU-US bank data deal new guidelines


Make the Americans ask for it: New negotiation guidelines on bank transfer data in Europe have been proposed by the European Commission. US anti-terrorism investigators would need to request permission for specific data, and accept EU citizens’ complaints of misused information.

The EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström presented the changes: “Terrorism is an important threat still in the EU and we need to have the tools adequate to fight that threat. The terrorism finance Tracking Program it does enhance the security we have evidences that it is useful not only for US but also for the European Union in order to track and to bring suspected terrorists to justice.”

The European Parliament refused to ratify a previous deal about information on money transfers in Europe in February, over concerns on citizens’ privacy. A key group that opposed the provisional agreement, the Liberals, welcomed the proposed changes.

Liberal MEP Alexander Alvaro said: “If you’re looking for a single person, it is not acceptable to transfer a whole country’s data. Overall, we are asking for more specific legal protection of personal information.”

Under the new proposal — which still needs approval by the EU member states before talks can re-start— the bloc would reserve the right to break off an eventual agreement if privacy were not respected.

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brussels bureau