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MEPs Offer Split Views on New SWIFT Plan

PRIVACY LAW—EU & U.S.

June 16, 2010

MEPs have different views on whether the European Commission's proposal to allow U.S. authorities access to SWIFT financial data on suspected terrorists does enough to protect Europeans' personal information. The New York Times reports that although European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström says the agreement will "increase the security of European citizens while at the same time fully respecting their rights to privacy and data protection," several MEPs have come out against the plan. MEP Sophie In 't Veld, for example, raised concerns about bulk transfers of information, suggesting that the U.S. "can request a needle, but Europeans still would be sending the entire haystack." MEP Timothy Kirkhope, however, said, "This agreement is, of course, not perfect, but ultimately it gets a necessary and vital job done" while addressing privacy concerns. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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