Sunday, November 26, 2006

Banks to inform clients that personal data could be given to US authorities

Going back to a report in The Register, "Europe's central banks caught in US spy scandal", where the question arose as to whether the European Central Bank (ECB), as well as and others, had broken any data protection laws by not reporting when U.S. organizations were investigating bank records following 9/11:
"The central banks of the G10 countries might also be implicated in the scandal because they were told about the US snooping of transactions conducted by their indigenous firms five years ago when, in the wake of 9/11, the US Treasury first started poring through the world's financial transactions in search of terrorist financiers."
Finally a resolution, as reported at The Malta Independent Online:

"An EU working party looking into the SWIFT – US financial transaction privacy scandal has found that all European banks using the SWIFT service must inform clients that US authorities could be given access to their personal, banking and financial data as a result.

The so called “Article 29 Working Party” also found that any European bank using the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) for financial transactions also shares culpability, to varying degrees, for the wide-scale compromising of personal data and banking details."

Further reported:
"In its long-awaited report on an issue that has become yet another thorn in the side of EU-US relations, the Party concluded that 'the hidden, systematic, massive and long-term transfer of personal data by SWIFT to the UST in a confidential, non-transparent and systematic manner for years without effective legal grounds and without the possibility of independent control by public data protection supervisory authorities, constitutes a violation of fundamental European principles as regards data protection and is not in accordance with Belgian and European law'."
My thoughts? BRAVO! Yes, I understand and recall vividly 9/11 and the aftermath. However, I do not believe those events give my Government the right to steamroll over the rest of the world. After all, there were not only Americans killed that horrific day.

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