Saturday, March 17, 2007

More SWIFT news last week

This week the Dutch could witness more stuff on the SWIFT-case:
- further discussion and questions in parliament,
- continued quarrels between central bank and data protection authority
- banks planning a communication campaign to tell that customer data is given to US officials.

So that's some more ado about nothing.

The sillyness of banks telling their customer that their data can be read by us-officials is demonstrated by this text on the Dutch data protectors website:
Een organisatie hoeft de betrokkene ook niet te informeren als de organisatie de gegevens vastlegt of verstrekt op grond van een wettelijke plicht.
Translated: an organisation does not have to inform involved customers if the organisation stores or provides this data on the basis of a legal obligation.

I do hope that the Dutch sillyness stops here, because we're really wasting time and energy here.

Update: the siliness did unfortunately not stop: this saturday morning, Executive director Kohnstam of the Data protection authority threw even more oil on the fire in a radio programme. He found that the bank communication plans were insufficient..... but he also acknowledged that all data provision to US authorities was based on legitimate government rules. So how is he ever going to fine banks for not informing the customer in a case where his own data protection law says that there is no need to report customer data provision in cases that they comply with government rules?

I will stop reporting here (having listened to the full program); my conclusion is that this discussion is no longer about the law but merely about a data protection authority that wishes make a public point (regardless of content).