Daily DashboardEuropean Data Protection Digest

Despite Concerns, Germany Will Buy Stolen Bank Data

FINANCIAL PRIVACY—GERMANY

February 5, 2010

Despite privacy concerns voiced by many officials including the data protection commissioner, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaüble has announced the government will purchase the financial data on some 1,500 individuals with Swiss bank accounts, TIME reports. With estimates indicating the data could help Germany recoup between $140 and $280 million by cracking down on tax evaders, a recent survey had 57 percent of respondents in favor of the government's decision. Privacy advocates in Switzerland and Germany, however, disagree. German Data Protection Commissioner Peter Schaar cautions that such deals could "encourage other people to sell data, and this would lead to a black market for personal information."
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