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8 Jul, 2010 07:13

EU-US bank data-sharing to be revised

The European Parliament is expected to approve a revised EU-US bank data-sharing agreement to help in the War on Terror.

The deal would give the United States access to SWIFT – a financial system of bank transactions – to help investigate, identify and prosecute alleged terrorists and their backers.

The SWIFT network unites data from 8,000 banks in Europe with millions of financial operations made daily.

The US has been using SWIFT data since September 11 as part of their terrorist tracking program.

However the EU found the first deal violated civil rights and EU privacy legislation.

If the parliamentarians vote for the new deal, it will go into force on August 1.

Many in the European Parliament believe it is not secure to give the bank records of citizens to the US.

“In this case we are still not convinced that it is still possible to have this vast amount of data transfers, where individuals – who are not part of an investigation – are also tracked,” Member of European Parliament Jan Philipp Albrecht has said in a interview with RT.

Gerrard Batten, Member of the European Parliament from the UK Independence Party, believes the agreement is one-sided, giving Washington more power than it does Europe.

“It's a very one-sided agreement. It gives the US the right to look at our data, but it doesn't give us the reciprocal rights to look at their citizens’ financial data. All the agreements with the US seem to have that in common, like the extradition law. They can take our citizens, but we can't take their citizens with the same ease,” Batten told RT.