US given access to European bank data for anti-terror purposes

9 July 2010

Authorities in the US are to be given access to the bank data of European citizens as part of new anti-terrorism legislation.

Members of the European Parliament have voted to give American investigators access to information handled by Swift, an organization which oversees millions of bank transactions each day.

Under the agreement, Europol will assess whether information requests are merited before the data is passed on to the US, reports BBC News.

Bulk data will not be allowed to be passed on to other countries, while European citizens have the chance to take legal action if they feel their data has been misused.

German MEP Alexander Alvaro said of the deal: "[It] will ensure that terrorist financing can be traced back to its sources, but it will not affect day-to-day bank transfers of EU citizens."

Last month, the Swiss parliament granted its approval to a deal which will see UBS client details passed on to US tax agencies.

By Gary Cooper

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