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Privacy advocate attacks EU bank data exchange with US

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Privacy advocate attacks EU bank data exchange with US
Photo: DPA
08:31 CET+01:00
Germany's federal data protection commissioner Peter Schaar has slammed the EU's plan to share citizens' bank data with the United States as an unacceptable breach of privacy, daily Frankfurter Rundschau reported on Thursday.

“In the coming days it will be decided whether the European Council accepts the democratic principles of Europe, or whether there will be a massive attack on basic rights here,” Schaar told the paper.

The commissioner went on to say that the so-called SWIFT agreement, which is meant to help US officials track terrorist finances, would likely be appealed to Germany's highest court if it went through.

“I can't imagine that such a reach for bank data would be constitutional,” he told the paper.

Schaar's comments mirror the opinion of German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, who said last week that Berlin would try to stop the agreement. She pointed to the fact that the treaty reorganising the European Union's inner workings will give the European Parliament a greater say in such matters like the data transfer agreement.

“I am still critical of the extent of information transfer to the USA and the lacking legal recourse,” Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said.

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