EU-USA: Swift agreement - Processing of EU originating Personal Data by United States Treasury Department for Counter Terrorism Purposes

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"SWIFT" (full-text, pdf) and Swift agreement exchange of letters, full-text (full-text, pdf)

- the "Processing" statement says bank customers are to be: "informed about the processing of SWIFT data, including transfers to the United States for commercial purpose and the possible processing of those data by the US Treasury for counter terrorism purposes." (emphasis added)

- the exchange of letters does not constitute an agreement between the EU and the USA under international law. The processing of data statement was unilaterally adopted by the US Treasury which it could unilaterally change.

- European Data Protection Supervisor's opinion on the role of the European Central Bank in the SWIFT case

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"SWIFT's compliance with EU data protection laws appears to mean simply informing people that all their data will be transferred to the USA for any purpose connected to terrorism with no obligation to tell them when and to whom it is passed, how it is processed, to whom it is passed on to, and for how long it is held, and to whom they can apply for their records or to whom they can appeal against the content and use of processing or further processing by un-named agencies and bodies. Nor is the agreement legally binding.

If this is what data protection means then it is utterly worthless."

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