Money laundering bill would still give Dutch banks too much surveillance power
The Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) is still very critical of a proposed law to tackle money laundering by banks, despite "good improvements" that have been made in recent revisions when compared to an earlier draft. On Tuesday, the regulator called the proposal "unnecessary and contrary to the principle of proportionality.”
The AP already warned in October that the original bill would open the door to the "unprecedented mass surveillance of the Dutch" citizenry at the hands of the banks. Even after a review, the privacy watchdog concluded "that the main objections from the earlier advice are still standing.”
The bill gives banks the scope to monitor payment for suspicious transactions traffic on a large scale, and to exchange information about this among each other. The proposed law is meant help banks act more efficiently in the fight against money laundering, in which the financial sector is credited with a key role.
The Tweede Kamer "must realize that this is the path of complete central control of payment traffic," said the AP. "This road is an unlawful encroachment on fundamental rights and civil liberties." Aleid Wolfsen, the chair of the Dutch Data Protection Authority will explain this point of view later this week in a round table meeting with several members of Parliament.
Citizens run the risk of being wrongly excluded from "an essential facility such as payment transactions" due to this bill, the AP said. It added that this is not only undesirable, but also disastrous for confidence in financial institutions.
Reporting by ANP