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Data Collection Practice Blasted

FINANCIAL PRIVACY—GERMANY

September 24, 2010

Germany's largest cashless payment network gathered and shared customer spending information, prompting data protection experts and government officials to lambast the practice of surreptitiously collecting customer data, according to The Local. Reports that Easycash and competitor Telecash shared such information surfaced Thursday and Friday. "That is clearly illegal," said Schleswig-Holstein Data Protection and Privacy Commissioner Thilo Weichert. "Account details and exact information about purchases are very clearly personal information that should not be used in this manner." Easycash has said its practices were not illegal, and some officials are calling for data protection laws to be strengthened, including Free Democratic Party Chief Whip Christian Ahrend, who said, "We need clear legal parameters for the use of customer data in electronic commerce."
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