Swiss data protection official denounces disclosure of banking information Alexis Unkovic at 3:01 PM ET
[JURIST] Switzerland's top Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner [official website] Hanspeter Thür said Friday that Swiss banks violated national secrecy laws when they failed to inform customers using the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) [official website] international banking cooperative service that their personal data could be disclosed to third parties, including the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website]. Thür's comments contradict the position adopted by Swiss Finance Minister Hans-Rudolph Merz [official profile] last month when he concluded that such banking disclosures to the CIA in terrorism investigations complied with Swiss law. Thür stressed a need for standardization of US and European information-protection laws, specifically citing the concern that SWIFT may provide data to one country whose laws are less strict than those in which the customer is based. The New York Times has more.
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